What is 3 Day Eventing?


The Classic format or Long format has the following levels denoted by stars;

  • Training - half *
  • Preliminary *
  • Intermediate **
  • Advanced *** or ****

Dressage is always the first discipline that the pair compete in.  It is a test of specific maneuvers done at precise points in the arena.  Each movement in the test is given a score of 0 (not performed) to 10 (excellent).  From these marks, penalty points are taken and that is the Event riders base score that he or she is trying to hold through out the competition.

Day two is Speed and Endurance day consisting of 4 phases (A through D).

Phase A is Roads and Tracks.  Designed as a warm-up, there is no jumping involved.  The speed is 240 meters per minute (mpm) and it in on a set track that is about 4 miles long.  The finish is also the start of Phase B.

Phase B is Steeplechase.  The steeple chase is ridden at 640 MPM over 5-7 hedges that are up to 3'8" tall.  Again this phase is timed, and to ride over the time, penalties are added to your score.  The finish of phase B is also the start of phase C.

Phase C is Roads and Tracks.  Same as phase A only longer.  This phase is designed to recover the horse from the Steeplechase. 

Between phase C and D there is a 10 minute vet box that the horse is evaluated for soundness of wind and limb by veterinarians.  Any horse that does not recover is eliminated from the competition.

Phase D  is the cross country jumping.  Cross country is a test of stamina, jumping ability and bravery tested over solid jumps such as logs, ditches, water and banks.  Ridden at speed up to 570 meters per minute which is about 21 miles an hour, the horse and rider have to negotiate up to 30 fences that are max height 3'11" high.  Penalties are given for disobedience such as refusals and also for completing over the optimum time.  A fall of horse or rider is a mandatory retirement.

Day three is Show Jumping.  Designed to test the horses recovery and fitness after the grueling cross country, the show jumps are tightly spaced in an arena and designed to fall easily if the horse misjudges and hits one.  Penaltied are given for disobedience (run-outs or refusals), completing over the optimum time and any rails that may have been knocked downs.


Horse trials are similar to the Classic format, only without the four phases of the endurance day.

Again, the first phase is Dressage followed by Cross Country Jumping or Show Jumping with the other being the last.

Horse Trials can take place over 1,2 or 3 days.

The following level are available at horse trials;

  • Beginner Novice
  • Novice
  • Training
  • Preliminary
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Check out the following link for more information and membership info.