Sunday, April 17, 2011

Prix Caprilli

Earlier this month, I published Jamie Stine's excellent three part series on Dressage and the Model Horse.  In that series, Jamie analyzed a whole slew of model horses in regards to their dressage potential.  It was a pretty comprehensive piece covering models in all gaits, sizes and mediums, but inevitably some things got left out.

One horse that didn't make the cut was this guy.

A jumping pony might seem like an unlikely candidate for a dressage class, but there is one specific sort of dressage class for which Newsworthy is uniquely qualified.  That class is the Prix Caprilli.

A Prix Caprilli test is a dressage test with jumps.  The name honors Captain Federico Caprilli, the Italian cavalry instructor commonly credited with inventing the forward seat.  Prix Caprilli tests are available for most of the lower levels of dressage.  You can download copies of the Introductory, Training and First Level tests here.

Most tests include two jumps with a maximum height of two feet.  Cross poles are common and the test may ask the competitors to jump from either a trot or a canter.  The diagram below shows a typical arena layout for a Prix Caprilli test.   
Prix Caprilli tests are judged much like a normal dressage test.  Jumping style is not a major consideration and the jumps should not disrupt the flow of the test.  Basically this is a dressage test that happens to have jumps in the way! 
Tack and attire requirements are the same as any lower level dressage class.  Horses must wear a snaffle bridle and an English saddle.  
Prix Caprilli classes are not new to the model horse world.  Back in 1999, Laura Pervier won the OF Dressage class at NAN with a jumping model.  However, it's always good to remind people that there is a way to get a jumping horse (or mule!) into a dressage class.

Special thanks to my friend Trisha for allowing me to use pictures of her and her pony Arwen to illustrate this post!


  1. Lord, that would have unnerved Flick in his younger years. t

  2. I think it must have unnerved Arwen, too. Did you see how she's overjumping in the second photo?!

  3. Oh, neat! I have heard about these but never seen one.

  4. Such a neat idea!

    -Kelsey Roe