Show jumping began only to achieve its recognition in the second half of the eighteen century. The first mention of it in a cavalry manual was in France in 1788. It was about another 100 years before showjumping (as opposed to steeplechasing) was officially recorded and it sprang up rapidly in various parts of the world.
By the turn of the century, the sport was established internationally. The first International Horse Show was held at Olympia in London in 1907 and was included in the Olympic Games at Stockholm in 1912. The agility and ability of the horse soon became clear and a new and exciting form of horsemanship was created - showjumping. Show jumping is a sport that reaches millions of people and is a sport enjoyed by the equine enthusiast, the professional and those who have never been on or near a horse in their lives. It is also one of the only sports where men and women compete on equal terms across all age groups.
Show jumping tests the accuracy and athletic ability of both horse and rider. Competitions take place indoors and outdoors and the sport is enjoyed all year round. There are a number of different heights at which horse and rider compete at, ranging from 70cm through to 1.60m. Riders lead their horses around a course, jumping over a series of obstacles of varying lengths and heights in an allotted amount of time. Riders are penalized if a horse knocks down a railing, refuses to jump over an obstacle, touches a water jump, or falls down. Whichever rider clears the course with the fewest penalties is declared the winner.