Science of Show Jumping: Style Matters

Home > Blog > Show Jumping > Science of Show Jumping: Style Matters

Have you ever wondered how much time a lofty jumper spends in the air versus a horse that just skims over the fences?

Is scope the be all to end all?

Or is drool-worthy airtime actually a competitive disadvantage?

Tim Worden, PhD, explains how jumping style measures up against the clock in the international ring:

“When you watch an FEI jumping competition, you’ll notice a wide range of jumping styles and it’s interesting to consider how these different jumping techniques factor into how long it takes for the horse to complete the course.

So, on one hand, you have those horses that seem to just barely clear the jump. The horses raise their bodies just high enough to skim over. And this movement is relatively quick and efficient.

And then on the other hand you have those horses that really slow in front of the jump, load the hind end and shoot way up over the jump. For these horses it’s not uncommon in an FEI setting for them to spend a 150 milliseconds more in the air than those other quicker horses.

Although that may not seem like a lot of time, if you consider a Grand Prix with 17 jumping efforts, for example, the horse that spends more time in the air, all else being equal between the jumps between the two types of horses, that big powerful jumper will take two and half seconds longer to complete that course.”

Huh!


Sports & Racing


Sports
April 8, 2020

McLain Ward vs Kent Farrington: The Push Up Showdown

With COVID-19 cases in North America soaring to nearly a third of the global total this week, you'd be forgiven if you're feeling a little stressed right now. And if,...
Sports
April 6, 2020

Kathy Kusner, Equestrian Rebel

Kathy Kusner is celebrated in American history for her show jumping prowess. Born in 1940 to a family of modest means and zero horse connections, she was an unlikely candidate...
Sports
April 3, 2020

Confessions of a Polo Groom

Polo: the game of kings. We've all seen it depicted on TV at some point—gorgeous horses galloping madly after a tiny white ball, players swinging cane mallets, while spectators clad...
Sports
March 27, 2020

3 Online Horse Shows to Help Fill the Self Isolation Hours

The [horse] show must go on online! COVID-19 restrictions have led to the cancelation or rescheduling of competitions nationwide. But, a new trend is rising in their absence—online horse shows....
Racing

Haru Urara: Japan’s Lovable Loser

"Winning isn’t everything; it's the only thing."  Henry Russell Sanders, UCLA Bruins Coach 1950 “Do your best” Ganbatte (Japanese) Ever since Commodore Perry’s “black ships”—so-called because they belched black smoke...
Sports
March 24, 2020

Canceled by COVID-19: How Event Organizers Are Coping

COVID-19 restrictions have led organizers to cancel equestrian competitions and other events nationwide—but at what cost? We caught up with Derek Braun, founder and president of the Split Rock Jumping...