Cross country equestrian jumping is an endurance test that forms one of the three phases of the sport of eventing; it may also be a competition in its own right, known as hunter trials or simply "cross-country", although these tend to be lower level, local competitions.
The object of the endurance test is to prove the speed, endurance and jumping ability of the true cross-country horse when he is well trained and brought to the peak of condition. At the same time, it demonstrates the rider's knowledge of pace and the use of this horse across country.
==History of cross-country==
Historically, the so-called 'long format' endurance test included four phases: Phases A and C, Roads and Tracks; Phase B, the Steeplechase; and Phase D, the Cross-Country. Each phase had to be completed in a set time. Phase A of the roads and tracks was a warming-up period, usually done at a brisk trot, for the purpose of relaxing and loosening up both horse and rider. Phase A led directly to the start for Phase B, the steeplechase. This phase was ridden at a strong gallop to achieve an average speed of 24 miles per hour with six to eight jumps. At the end of the steeplechase, the horse and rider went directly into Phase C, the second roads and tracks. This phase was very important for allowing the horse to relax and recover and to get his wind back to normal. The pace is usually a quiet trot, interspersed with periods of walking and an occasional relaxed canter. Some riders also dismounted and ran next to their horse during this section of the test.
The end of Phase C brought the pair to the ten-minute Vet Box prior to starting out on Phase D, the cross-country. Here the horse had a compulsory ten-minute rest allowing a panel of judges and veterinarians to check the horse's temperature, pulse, respiration and soundness. If, in the opinion of the panel, the horse was not fit or sound enough to continue, it was withdrawn from the competition. At this time the horse was sponged down, the tack adjusted and they were prepared for the next phase. Those passing the inspection went to the start box ready for the most exciting phase of the whole endurance test.
The majority of modern eventing no longer runs the long format, instead now running a 'short format', which excludes phases A, B and C and means the endurance element is solely the cross-country course. However, there are a few long format events in the United States, at the one-star level.
The cross-country phase is the phase that appeals most to spectators and riders alike. It is the ultimate challenge to prepare a horse for this rigorous test. Unlike other sports, where only the human will and body are pitted against the clock, in eventing, or combined training, two minds and bodies have to work as one. As an additional attraction, eventing is the only high-risk Olympic sport that permits men and women to compete as equals. There are no separate divisions for either rider or horse. Some of the top riders in the world today are women from many nations.
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』