Wednesday, October 23, 2019 · 5:18 PM

CSI-BHE AG · Switzerland ·
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The ABC of show jumping


CS Concours de saut (showjumping)
CD Concours de dressage (Dressage)
CA Concours d’attelage (Riding)
-I International
-O Official (with team ranking – only one organiser per country and year)
-W World Cup
1*/2*/3*/4*/5* Degree of difficulty and/or category
Example Basel
CSI5* = Concours de saut International. International Showjumping Tournament category 5* (prize money at least CHF 500,000).

Star system

In jumping events a CSI (International Showjumping Tournament) will be classified according to the prize money awarded in a star system as follows:

1* = prize money max. CHF 49,999
2* = prize money: CHF 50,000 to 149,999
3* = prize money: CHF 150,000 to 249,999
4* = prize money: CHF 250,000 to 499,999
5* = prize money: from CHF 500,000


The governing body of all swiss riding associations, including regional and breeding associations, is the Swiss Equestrian Federation (SVPS) in Berne.

The SVPS is affiliated to the international governing body, which is the «Fédération Equestre Internationale» (FEI), based in Lausanne. The current president of the FEI is Princess Haya bint al-Hussein of Jordan.

Types of Competition

The jumping events are classified according to entry qualifications and degree of difficulty into categories such as Table A or Table C, and special events such as Team Jumping, Points Jumping or Barrier Jumping.

Table A
In Table A competitions, all faults committed by riders will incur penalty points (normally 4). Riders will be ranked according to the number of penalty points incurred. If several competitors have the same number of penalty points they will be ranked depending on competition type as follows:

  • ex aequo (Table A without timekeeping)
  • timed (Table A with timekeeping)
  • according to the result of one or more jump-offs ( Table A with jump-off)

Table A with timekeeping
If an equal number of points is attained, the faster time will decide the winner.

Table A with jump-offs
Competitions in which riders are placed in equal first place are to be decided by jump-off. The jump-offs will follow the same rules as the normal parcours. They are conducted with a reduced number of raised or widened jumps from the normal parcours.

Table C
In this discipline the faults are converted into a time penalty, usually 3 or 4 seconds.

Progressive Points Jumping
This competition is held over at least six and a maximum of ten obstacles, to be jumped in a predefined sequence. Every obstacle is assigned an individual number of points. The ascending degree of difficulty will be achieved by the type of jump construction only. For every successfully completed jump the rider will be credited with the number of points assigned to the obstacle. A rail fault will result in no points or points deduction.

Team Jumping
In this discipline two or more riders form a team. The event can be conducted as follows:

  • every rider executes one parcours, and the results of all riders in a team are added together
  • with relay handover within an enclosed area by passing a riding whip or baton.

Refusal/Disobedience in International Jumping

Table A
First refusal = 4 penalty points
Second refusal = disqualification
This also applies to run outs (riding past the obstacle).
Circling not prescribed by the Parcours Plan = 4 penalty points

Table C
First and second refusal = time penalty (international second refusal = disqualification)

All falls occurring between the bell and the finish line will result in disqualification.

The following deviations will result in rider disqualification:

  • when a wrong obstacle is jumped
  • when an obstacle is jumped from the wrong direction

Behaviour corrections without jumping a wrong obstacle will be considered disobedience and will incur penalty points.

Exceeding Permitted Time (Table A)
Normal parcours: 1 penalty point per 4 seconds or commenced 4 seconds
Jump-offs: 1 penalty point per commenced second


The parcours is the route to be taken by the rider in the event, and is marked by flags. It begins at the start, leads over the obstacles in the required order and (optionally) through compulsory passages to the finish. Permission to start will be indicated by a bell, after which the rider has 45 seconds to cross the start line. If he does not do so, the effective elapsed time will commence before the start line has been crossed. The bell serves as communication between the jury and the rider during the parcours.

Parcours plan
An exact representation containing all details of the parcours:

  • the finish and start line
  • the obstacles to be jumped
  • any compulsory passages
  • the competition type
  • the length of the parcours
  • the permitted time
  • the jump-off obstacles
  • the designation "closed" for closed combination obstacles
  • any special stipulations relating to the parcours
    (for example permitted circling)
  • the parcours designer and the parcours inspection official
  • number, category and type of competition

Parcours Inspection
Riders may inspect the parcours after indication to do so by the jury. The inspection may take place only before the start of the competition, including events with jump-offs. After a minimum of 15 minutes riders will be directed by the jury to leave the parcours.

Permitted Time
In all competitions with a specified minimum speed, riders must complete the parcours within the permitted time. The duration depends on the course length and will be specified in the Parcours Plan by the Parcours Designer. Riders exceeding the permitted time will incur penalty points according to the event type and category.

Course Flags
Small red and white flags are used to mark the following parcours locations:

  • start
  • obstacle boundaries
  • any compulsory passages
  • finish

Red flags are to be placed to the right of the parcours route and white flags to the left. They thus mark the direction in which obstacles and compulsory passages must be taken.


Obstacles are classified according to their construction type and separation as follows:

High Jumps
Wall, Gate, Brusseler, Stationata

  • single element construction
  • requires a high jump by the horse

Long Jumps
Water ditch

  • requires a long jump by the horse

High and Long Jumps
Triple Bar, Oxer

  • multi-element construction, forms a single jump
  • requires a high and long jump by the horse

Combination Jumps
Combinations require two or more jumps

  • recognisable by numbering, e.g. 3a/3b/3c
  • a double, triple or multiple obstacle comprises two, three or more single obstacles separated by at least 12 metres, requiring two, three or more consecutive jumps.
  • If a horse refuses a part of a combination the entire combination must be repeated, including jumps previously taken successfully.

© 2019 CSI-BHE AG. The content of this website is protected by copyright law and have been prepared for informational purposes only, without being legally binding.
Oct 23, 2019
5:15:00 PM CEST