The riding event (equestrian show jumping) included in the Modern Pentathlon competition involves jumping over obstacles of up to 120cm in height. The obstacle course is between 350-450m in length and includes 12 obstacles with one double and one triple, for 15 jumps. Athletes compete on horses provided by the organizers, tested from the Technical Delegates during a compulsory Jumping test session on the competition course, that usually takes place the day before the competition. The horses are assigned to the athletes by a random draw.
FAST FACT: Each Pentathlete rides an unfamiliar horse over 12 show jumps. Pentathletes have just 20 minutes to familiarize themselves with the horse before entering the arena.
For warm-up and preparation purposes, athletes are allowed to ride their allocated horse for 20 minutes and to have up to 5 trial jumps in the warm-up arena provided. Pentathletes are given 20 minutes to inspect the course at any time during the competition program according to the organizer’s schedule.
The athlete has a specific time limit in which to complete the course, and the time limit is set according to its length. A clear round in time allowed gives the rider 1200 pentathlon points. The time allowance varies between 1 minute for a 350 meters course, and 1.17 minutes for a 450 meters course. The speed is 350m/minute. For each mistake the rider loses points.
Examples of penalties given are 20 points for knock-down and 40 points for every refusal or disobedience: but any disobedience leading to the knocking down of an obstacle gives 60 points deduction. After 2 refusals to jump, the rider must try to jump the next obstacle. A fall of the rider from the horse or if they both fall is a 60 point penalty. After 2 falls the riding will be terminated. In case of riding terminations for every obstacle not jumped, the rider loses 100 points. The most common cases of riding terminations are: Wrong course, second fall, exceeding the time limit that is double of the time allowed and retiring from the competition. Each second over the time limit means a deduction of 4 points. The maximum time is the double of the standard time. If the rider is slower than the time allowed, the riding is terminated Riders must jump the obstacles in order. Riders must wear protective headgear and a riding jacket and can use a whip and spurs.
About US Pony Club, Inc
The mission of Pony Club is "to provide a program for youth that teaches riding, mounted sports, and the care of horses and ponies, thereby developing responsibility, moral judgment, leadership and self-confidence.” Members of USPC have joined an organization dedicated to producing well-rounded horsemen and women and one that has produced many of the past and current Olympic and International riders.
USPC is unique because its educational programs place equal emphasis on the teaching of riding skills, horse-care fundamentals, and team participation with sportsmanship. From the moment youth join USPC until they graduate, they are part of a broad network of activities and educational programs that promote the health and safety of both horse and rider. USPC is dedicated to developing knowledgeable, competent, responsible, and caring horsemen.
Thank you to Alicia Henderson and her team for their expertise, resources, as well as, manpower to make the Equestrian Discipline successful.