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The human-horse relationship dates back to time immemorial. The moment man realized horses’ true potential, the quest to domesticate the beast started. However, what can be said with certainty is that throughout human history, horses have played an instrumental role both during war and in peacetime pursuits like transportation, agriculture and trade.

Today, equestrian sports are a major part of many Western societies, including the United States. If you have an interest in these activities, then the television set is not the right medium to enjoy the sport; be there in person with these Equestrian game tickets in hand.

Early Equestrianism

There is evidence that horses lived in North America, but got extinct during the Ice Age. They were brought back to the continent in 1493 with the second voyage of Columbus.

As societies progressed, division of labor led to multifarious uses of horses, including herding animals on a ranch, etc. This practice led to present day rodeo. The skill of horse riding, also known as equestrianism, today includes in addition to horse riding, driving and steeplechasing or vaulting with horses. Equestrianism, in general, means the use of horses in competitive sport, cultural or artistic exercises and recreational activities. 

Riding & Shows – Back in the Day

Horse riding as an exhibition art dates back to 7th century BCE Olympia. The Romans were famous for their race meetings, a fact widely known, thanks largely to William Wyler’s 1959 epic film Ben-Hur.  In medieval Europe, horse fairs, jousting and other equestrian tournaments were a major source of entertainment and trade. A bit closer to modern history, polo was brought to England from India roughly around 1870. It is worth noting here that the sport had been played in Persia for centuries.

Equestrian Sports Today

Various horse associations and pony clubs today are the main regulatory bodies. Over time, they have improved the standards of equestrian sports and events like competitive activities of show jumping, hunter trials and dressage.

The Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI), based in Brussels is the main regulatory body on equitation. Various national organizations such as the Fédération Française des Sports Équestres, the National Equestrian Federation of Ireland, the Federazione Italiana Sports Equestri, the American Horse Shows Association (AHSA) and the British Horse Society are all affiliated with the FEI.

Horse Shows

The present day horse shows evolved from the horse sections of agricultural fairs. These fairs were held for the buying and selling of various breeds of horses, but today horse riding contests have become extremely popular all over the world.

The first such mega event was held in 1864 in Dublin. Under the auspices of the Royal Dublin Society, this event today is considered to be one of the biggest of its kind and exhibits every type of saddle horse, ponies and broodmares. A five-day show, it showcases horse jumping contests too. Horses are also auctioned here and there are exclusive events for children as well.

Not to be outdone by their European cousins, Americans, too, took keen interest in horse shows, resulting in the first National Horse Show in 1883. Today, it is an annual event that lasts for many days at the Madison Square Garden. It showcases 10 different events, out of which open jumping and international jumping are the most popular.

Equestrian Sports in the Olympics

Various equestrian sports including jumping ground prix, three-day-eventing and dressage grand prix evoke high standards of horsemanship in the Olympics. These events have both individual and team competitions.

The Grand Prix de Dressage involves judging a rider’s correct position, several conventional movements, dressage figures and performance of walk, trot and canter.

The three-day event consists of tests in show jumping, endurance or cross-country riding and dressage. Dressage is reserved for the first day, while on the second day, endurance test is held that includes covering steeplechase obstacles, swamp roads, tracks and cross-country sections. Jumping tests are held on the third day.

The Prix des Nations jumping event includes clearing multiple obstacles of varying heights and a water jump. The rider with the lowest penalty score wins.

There is also a riding section of the modern pentathlon at the Olympics. Riders are required to clear 20 obstacles while riding a strange horse.

Cheap Equestrian Tickets

The total number of equestrian sports viewers on television has consistently grown over the years in the US. However, those who have been to the live events say that it is not the same as experiencing it all live. If you have never been to an equestrian event, then grab these cheap equestrian tickets today and watch this beautiful human-horses relationship unfold before your very eyes.

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