Skipton Horse Trials runs an ODE (One Day Event) format on both days of the weekend.  Competitors complete three phases of the competition - Dressage, Showjumping and Cross Country in order and collect penalty points along the way - the competitor with the lowest number of penalties at the end of the three phases is the winner.


Competition runs from 8.30am to approximately 6pm each day.

The dressage arenas commence competition at 8.30am each morning with several running simultaneously (up to 6 arenas will be running at some points during the day).

Showjumping has generally started by 9.30am and will run all day - the different classes on the days jump different heights of fences so there are course changes at various times.

Cross Country starts at about 10.30am and runs all day, finishing last of all the phases, we run four different classes at Skipton so horses jump obstacles of different sizes and complexity for the different classes.

The three phases

Dressage : The dressage is a test of the training and discipline of the horse and rider.  All riders perform the same test of movements which are marked individually for their accuracy, style, correctness and fluency.  Each movement is marked out of 10 with the top mark (10) representing excellence.  The marks are totted up and a percentage score is given which is then converted into penalties - so a 64% test will score 36 penalties. 

Showjumping : The second phase is showjumping.  This tests accuracy and control as the fences knock down if the horse touches them - jumping clear requires a good partnership between horse and rider, accuracy and correct control of speed whilst jumping and turning.  The showjumping phase is timed and has a time which the riders must complete within.  Penalties are awarded for knocking fences down, refusing at a fence or going over the time (time penalties).  Riders would aim to jump clear within the time and go forward to Cross Country on their dressage score.

Cross Country : The final phase is cross country, here horses gallop across the beautiful dales landscape at Skipton jumping a course of fixed obstacles - these fences do not fall down if the horses touch them and they are jumped at speed, the cross country is a thrilling phase and in this phase penalties are awarded for refusing or going over the "optimum" time - this is set for each class based on the length of the course in metres per minute - riders are allowed to come in under the time (although are penalised for going too fast also) but for each second over the time they receive 0.4 time penalties.  Refusals on the cross country phase receive 20 penalties so riders are keen to go clear!  Riders would again aim to complete this phase within the time and finish the whole competition on their dressage score.

Daily Schedule

Providing a premier setting for the ultimate equestrian challenge

Skipton Horse Trials