Your Horse Riding Equestrian Reference

Show Jump Distances & Stride Distance in Show Jumping

Show Jump Distances between Fences …

A useful table detailing show jump distances or rather, show jump stride distances to allow riders to judge the approach to an obstacle.

All show jump fences within a course of show jumps should be set at standard show jump distances and/or stride lengths.

The course designer, whether amateur or professional should know and understand how a horse jumps and what distances are required for the horse and rider to find the correct stride into a jump.

The show jump course designer, the judge (if there is one), the event organiser and the rider should always ensure that showjump distances are correct and they allow, a standard size horse, room to jump.

Show jump Distances

The following table is a range of show jump distances that are regarded suitable for showjump combinations on level ground, in normal weather conditions.

The ranges are based on fence heights of approximately 1.20m (4ft 0”).

For competitions below this height the shorter show jump distances are recommended.

Factors that contribute to the use of shorter showjump distances :

  • Uphill
  • Deep going
  • Away from the In-gate
  • Small Arenas
  • Short approaches
  • Weather

Factors that contribute to the use of longer showjump distances :

  • Downhill
  • Good going
  • Towards the In-gate
  • Large arenas
Distances for single & double show jump fences Showjump Single Bar Showjump Double Bar
1 Stride 2 Strides 1 Stride 2 Strides
Showjump Single Bar 24ft 6” – 26ft 0” 34ft 9” – 36ft 3” 24ft 3” – 25ft 6” 35ft 0” – 35ft 6”
7.50m – 7.90m 10.60m – 11.05m 7.40m – 7.80m 10.70m – 10.80m
Showjump Double Bar 25ft – 26ft 3” 35ft 0” – 36ft 6” 24ft 0” – 25ft 0” 34ft 6” – 35ft 0”
7.60m – 8.00m 10.70m – 11.10m 7.30m – 7.60m 10.50m – 10.70m
  • 3 Strides 47ft – 49ft (14.30m – 14.90m)
  • 4 Strides 58ft – 62ft (17.70m – 18. 90m)
  • 5 Strides 69ft – 75ft (21.00m – 22.85m)
  • 6 Strides 80ft – 86ft (24.40m – 26.20m)
Table 4.SJ.i Single & Double Showjump distances.

Other show jump distances and considerations

  • The construction of the fence (solid or flimsy), and the width of any oxers will also have an effect on stride distance.
  • Extreme variations of stride distances are only recommended for higher grade competitions with more experienced riders.
  • Distances in each part of a Triple Combination should either be consistent, or normal to slightly long. Variations of long to short, are used with great caution and only in major competitions.
  • For indoor, or small arenas, showjump distances can be shortened by up to 15cm (6”) for one stride and 20-30cm (8-12”) for two strides, to correspond to distances that would normally be used outdoors for the same class.

Showjump distances are measured from the face of the landing side of the first fence, to the face of the take off side of the second fence, ignoring any small ground lines.

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