Thursday, October 18, 2012

Perfomance Spotlight--Eventing Derby

The Eventing Derby is an informal type of competition that consists of two parts--a dressage test and a modified cross country course which includes stadium type jumps.  Similar to a schooling show, the Eventing Derby provides a safe venue for riders of all levels to try eventing, as well as offering an excellent schooling opportunity for seasoned competitors.  Six months ago, Teresa and I attended an Eventing Derby at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado.  All of the photos accompanying today's post were taken that day.
Competition begins with a dressage test.  Because this is not a recognized event, turnout and attire tends to be casual.  Horses are not braided, and although some of the entrants may look fairly dressage-y...
others dress in schooling...
or cross country attire.  
After the completion of the dressage test, riders swap out their dressage saddle for their jumping saddle, add leg protection for the horse and body protector for themselves...
and head over to the cross country starting box.
Not surprisingly, the cross country course includes typical cross country challenges...
 such as ditches, banks,
water jumps, 
and varied terrain. 
However, unlike a typical event, it also includes a number of jumper type jumps.
These are scattered throughout the course, and although they look "easy" in comparison to the solid obstacles... 
 they can be unexpectedly difficult!
Because this is a schooling type of event, it's not unusual to see horses trot on course.  This happens most frequently at the water jumps...
but can occur anywhere on course.
As Teresa says, "trots happen!"
Performance showers take note!  Eventing Derbies offer a perfect explanation for your casually attired dressage horse and allow you to get double duty out of your jumper jump.  This event is tailor made for the model horse performance ring!   As always, feel free to use my photos for your live show documentation but please do not republish without permission.


  1. Wow-really neat! I'll have to show one of my horses in eventing derby so I can use my new jump! :)

  2. It's been awhile since we went - I almost forgot we did!

  3. See, for me, that day is crystal clear in my memory. I don't have to look at a calendar to remember that it was April 28, the day Maggie died. I've thought about writing this post many times since then, but there was just too much extra emotion. Emma has helped me move past that, but I have to admit that thoughts of Maggie colored every single word of this particular Performance Spotlight.


  4. Exactly Jennifer - I recall it more for Maggie than I do for the derby (which by itself was interesting!)...


  5. Horse number 62 in the cross country section looks like my friend Kari and her horse, Noah. (aka Super Noah!)

  6. Now this is a really cool idea! I would do this in a heartbeat, as it's just the level of eventing I think I would enjoy. Combining all the jumps into a x-country setting sounds good! I have no idea if anything like this is held near where I live but it should be...

  7. Noah is super cute! I took a whole bunch of pictures of him. If I remember correctly, he was competing at Training Level. All the horses we saw that day were competing at either Training or Prelim. Trillium and I would love to try an Eventing Derby but I want to show at one of the Beginner or Novice levels! I suspect we could get around at Training but it would NOT be pretty!


  8. This is a great idea for performance classes--thanks for the great write-up and photos!

  9. Thank you for this! From someone who's done a couple, they're loads of fun! I wonder how it would look if I were to try to depict those; it's definitely a goal of mine in performance!
    Also, for any of y'all out there with youth dolls, this is a great time to use them! Especially in USPC Eventing Rallies (typically, they last one day), there are a bunch of youngins competing (mostly D-1's and D-2's).