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THE JUMPING COURSE IS STUDDED WITH OBSTACLES THAT SIMULATE NATURE
October 31, 1955
The art of jumping horses, over the centuries, has been refined and standardized to a high degree, but the outdoor origin of this exacting sport is nonetheless still clearly visible in every course and every obstacle on it.
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October 31, 1955

The Jumping Course Is Studded With Obstacles That Simulate Nature

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The art of jumping horses, over the centuries, has been refined and standardized to a high degree, but the outdoor origin of this exacting sport is nonetheless still clearly visible in every course and every obstacle on it.

The jumping horses themselves fall into two general categories: the hunter and the jumper. A hunter is usually a Thoroughbred used in the field with hounds, judged in shows not only for his performance, but also on his way of going, which should be safe, steady and comfortable for the rider. His manners, conformation and substance—and sometimes his rider's appointments-are also considered.

A jumper, on the other hand, can be any breed of horse. His appearance, method of approach, and comfort to the rider are not considered. He is scored purely on performance over the course.

The course, which changes from class to class, indicates the order in which certain types of obstacles must be met, and if the rider fails to keep the horse on the correct course he is disqualified. The type of obstacle varies, but is based on a horse's ability to jump a vertical element such as a gate, a wide, flat element such as a ditch or stream and a combination of high and wide elements such as a Liverpool (see opposite page).

The course shown on the right is the one that will be used in the Jumper Stake, the National's Championship class for this division. It will also very likely be used in International events although the International courses are not posted until an hour before the class. The colors of the obstacles also vary, but can be red, gray, white, green or combinations of all these colors, depending on the obstacle itself. Thus in color too they imitate a natural barrier, as well as enhancing the decorative aspect of the ring and creating a psychological hazard for the rider. To the horse, the colors are indifferent—as nearly as can be determined, he sees them all in gradations of gray, as he is nearly color-blind. But no matter in what color he sees them, they are going to look big.

SOME PROMISING YOUNGSTERS AND THE HOPEFUL U.S. TEAM

A special kind of interest and a very special type of heartbreak centers around the junior riders division, past proving ground for equestrian team members. Final classes in a number of important horsemanship events for these passionately dedicated young competitors are traditionally held at the National.

This year's championship trophy of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will be competed for with fierceness by the young riders pictured at left, Pamela Phillips (see cover) and by more than a score of other fine amateurs under 18 who have qualified. To enter the Maclay, as the class is generally known in honor of the late Alfred B. Maclay who donated the trophy, a rider must win an ASPCA event at a recognized show in the course of the year. These winners then meet in New York and there the big win is decided. The class is judged on horsemanship only over eight obstacles, and the horse's jumping faults are not counted.

The forgiveness of jumping faults occurs only in horsemanship events. In the open jumping classes the faults are scored by the rules of the American Horse Shows Association. Generally speaking—depending on the type of class—a horse is faulted when he touches the obstacle, when he knocks down an obstacle and when he refuses to jump or runs out. Points are scored against the horse for these and other faults, and the animal with the lowest score wins the class.

International competitions, on the other hand, are judged by the code laid down by the Federation Equestre Internationale (F.E.I.), which guides all International competitions and the Olympic equestrian events. Time limits are also set for the course, and they can be the deciding factor in an award.

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