US Equestrian Raises the Bar on Eventing Show Jumping Course Design

Photo by Sportfot, courtesy of US Equestrian.

The US Equestrian Eventing Show Jumping Course Advisor Program has gone a long way toward upping many events’ course design game. Today the federation announced its plans for the program going forward: After reviewing all FEI level eventing show jumping courses in 2017, US Equestrian Eventing Show Jumping Course Advisor Richard Jeffery will turn his focus to 12 National Horse Trial show jumping courses across the preliminary and intermediate levels in 2018. However, in a shift from 2017, Jeffery will evaluate the courses prior to each event in addition to offering a critique of the course post event.

“We are receiving a lot of positive feedback from riders as they have seen great improvement in the courses,” Richard says. “We are working hard to reach as many course designers as possible since many do not have an opportunity to attend other events to see firsthand how eventing show jumping is progressing.

“Through the US Equestrian website, course designers can learn from each other, especially from more senior course designers, compare courses and read the evaluations. In some instances, events use the same show jumping course across all divisions. This can be equal for some, harder for others, and too simple for the advanced divisions, so the idea of this program is to make course designers aware of the degree of technicality that should go into each division.”

Course designers will submit their courses with all technical details to Richard 14 days prior to the start of competition. He will review the course and provide feedback to the course designer and technical delegate before the start of the event. Within five days of the event’s conclusion, course designers will complete an evaluation form, also noting the adjustments made to the course based off Richard’s pre-competition feedback.

Each course’s pre-competition evaluation and overall analysis will be available on This gives course designers an opportunity to review a variety of courses and consider Richard’s input from them when designing. To view his 2017 FEI-level course critiques, visit

For more information about the US Equestrian Eventing Show Jumping Course Advisor Program, contact Shealagh Costello, Director of Eventing National Programs, at [email protected] or 859-225-6923.

[US Equestrian Outlines Plans for 2018 Eventing Show Jumping Course Advisor Program]