Eventing (also known as horse trials) is an equestrian event where a single horse and rider combination compete against other combinations across the three disciplines of dressage, cross-country, and show jumping. This event has its roots in a comprehensive cavalry test requiring mastery of several types of riding.
The Olympic discipline of Eventing was initially adopted by the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation in the spring of 2014 by an instruction from the former Secretary General.
Unaffiliated Eventing was first adopted in the UAE 11 years previously in Dubai at the Desert Palm Polo Club and later at the Emirates Equestrian Centre. Organizing small local competitions, Desert Palm and a group of enthusiastic expatriate riders, and eventually Emirati riders, created a series Horse Trials during the winter months.
Basic sponsorship for Eventing was provided by the club and on occasion a group of local corporate sponsors including Spinneys. The club used Eventing to promote better horsemanship skills amongst its membership and other outside interested riders.
During the summer of 2013 calls came into the Emirates Equestrian Federation asking for Eventing to be adopted by the UAEERF. The following spring the UAEERF created an Eventing program after meetings and discussions with the clubs and interested parties.
Initially, in cooperation with the clubs, the UAEERF created an affiliated show calendar and a program to register riders and horses throughout the UAEERF. The goal was to organize and raise the awareness of Eventing as a viable option for local Emiratis and offer a sensible competition calendar to all riders.
During the following season, 2014-15, both the FEI & British Eventing Rule Book was approved for use by the Board of Directors of the UAEERF. A new National Eventing Rule Book is currently under development and will be ready for 2017-2018 competition season.
Also during the 2014-15 season, the education of Judges, Stewards and Scribes was introduced. Initially utilizing local established expatriate talent, the UAEERF today conducts regular training for officials and now has a growing number of dedicated judges and stewards supervising the competitions.
The result of the UAEERF involvement in Eventing has been beneficial. The number of riders and horses competing in the sport has risen steadily in the UAE as have the number of centers hosting competitions. For 2017-18 the UAE will host 12 One Day Events.