Wednesday November 29, 2023
For National Pony Club updates and information please go to
Showjumping Guidelines


We thought it might be a good idea to give you some basic information about Showjumping.

You can also download this guide :

Before entering the ring to compete, you’ll need to warm-up in the practise arena, where there are usually two jumps.  These jumps should be flagged and must be jumped (as in Cross Country) with the red flag on your right.  Showjumping Rule Book 2023

In the practise arena, you should pass others left shoulder to left shoulder, and if walking, should keep to the inside track, so as not to impede those moving faster.  You should not jump a practise fence higher than the course you are about to jump.

At a competition, a pony may only be ridden anywhere on the showground by the rider who is to ride in the competition but may be lunged by another person.

Always walk the course that you are to jump, following the line you will ride.  This will be just before the class begins.  You should look tidy when walking the course and it is best not to go with a gaggle of friends who might distract you but try to find someone who knows about riding a show umping course and get them to walk it with you.

Carrying a whip which does not meet with the Pony Club specification may result in elimination at the judge’s discretion. At Championship level elimination is mandatory. At all times, the whip many only be used a maximum of three times after entering the arena.  For the purposes of this rule, use of the whip is defined as when the rider takes his/her hand off the reins to use the whip. Repeated slapping down the shoulder is discouraged and may result in disqualification. Excessive use of the whip anywhere at the event will result in elimination of the rider from any competition which has already taken place and disqualification of the rider from competing for the rest of the day.

When you enter the ring, be sure to wait for the bell before you start to jump.  If you are unsure, circle, and wait, the judge will usually announce that the bell has gone; or you could ride over and ask the judge.  Remember to enter the arena with purpose:  trot straight away and then canter round the jumps until you are given the signal to start.

On the course: if you have a refusal at the second part of a double, you must jump both parts again; not just the part at which you stopped.

If you should forget the course or lose your way, try not to cross your tracks, or circle, as each circle will incur 4 faults.

Should you have a refusal, and in so doing, knock down the fence, you will incur only the faults for the refusal, not the knock down. Then you must wait for the fence to be rebuilt.  Three refusals – anywhere on the course – incurs Elimination.  If this happens, you must not attempt again the fence you were eliminated at, but may, on your way out, make two attempts to jump a fence which you had already jumped – in the correct direction.  The judge will ring the bell if you are eliminated.

Fall or rider and/or horse – elimination.  You are not permitted to remount but must lead your horse/pony out of the arena.

A pony that leaves the ring at any point will be eliminated and you cannot continue.

Outside Assistance: At any time after the signal to start has been given any outside assistance to a competitor, whether solicited or not, which in the opinion of the Judge might improve the competitor’s performance, incurs elimination at the Judge’s discretion.

Some courses are ‘Two Phase’, -this is where you jump a number of fences and, if clear, continue straight into a timed section.  Be sure to know where the timing begins.  If you are not clear on the first section, the bell will ring, and you must leave the ring.

You must not use your whip between entering the ring and the first jump.


At most team events, there will be a Tack Check before the class, where you present yourself and your pony to ensure your tack and riding wear are safe and correctly fitted.

When the class is for teams of 3, all three scores will be totalled together.

In teams of 4, the best three scores will be counted for a total.

For a two round competition, the same applies in the second round, irrespective of which 3 members scores were counted in the first round.

Should one member be eliminated in the first round, they may be able to jump in the second round if the team is not eliminated.  This depends, slightly, on the rules/judge on the day.

If two or more team members are eliminated, then that eliminates the whole team, and you would not usually jump the second round.

Where there is a jump off to determine placings, often one member must be chosen.  If the whole team are to jump, then the best three scores and times will be taken.

Finally . . . . . enjoy yourself!!

(word of warning – the above rules refer to Pony Club competitions – most are the same for Riding Club and British Showjumping competitions, except that in the event of a rider fall you will be eliminated at once.  With competitions run under BS rules (many local shows are in this category) you are eliminated after the SECOND refusal.  You should always check the appropriate rules for tack and riding wear allowed.)

Whichever discipline you ride at it is down to YOU to know the Rules including correct dress, tack etc.  If you are unsure always ask.