Eventing is a combined competition which requires of the rider experience in all branches of equitation. It demands speed and polyvalence, both from the horse and the rider. A combination of dressage, endurance - with cross-country, the major test - and jumping, it is the outcome of a team effort by two athletes having without doubt great confidence one in the other.
After an opening veterinary fitness inspection of the horse, competitors and horses will perform a Dressage Test. This test consists of a prescribed set of movements within a confined area of 60 x 20 m. The focus of the entire event is on the second test, the Endurance phase, which challenges the speed, boldness, stamina and jumping ability of the horse as well as the courage and knowledge of the rider.
It is composed of four phases: a warm-up "roads and tracks", a speed test over eight steeplechase fences followed by a recuperation "roads and tracks" course. After a halt, including a second fitness inspection of the horse, comes what is considered to be the most interesting phase for spectators: the cross-country course. It generally consists of 25 solid obstacles (30 to 40 jumping efforts) over 6 km of undulating ground.
The Jumping test takes place on the last day after a third veterinary inspection. The objective of this test is to prove that after the endurance day, horses remain supple and energetic enough to jump a course of twelve unfixed obstacles.