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Equestrian Riding – Pentathletes do not ride their own horse in competition. Instead, pentathletes draw a number to determine their horse. Athletes have a 20-minute warm-up and five practice jumps before entering the riding course. The course consists of 12 jumps including a double and a triple jump.


Athletes are awarded 300 pentathlon points at the start of the competition and lose points for missing jumps and time faults. Spectators are asked to remain quiet while athletes are riding; however applause and cheering is appreciated after the course is completed.



Pentathletes must be properly dressed for the course inspection, the draw for horses and the competition:

  • The hunting uniform (red or black coat, white breeches and hunting cap), or riding jacket, white shirt, collar and tie, breeches, jodhpurs or riding trousers
  • FEI (http://www.fei.org) Approved protective headgear with chinstrap is mandatory. A safety vest is recommended
  • A list of horses with designated number will be given in advance, horses are paraded and then horses are drawn by number
  • Pentathletes may warm up 20 minutes with 5 practice obstacles. A warm up technical delegate can remove any rider they feel is not safe.
  • Pentathlete must enter the arena when called and a start bell will signal to start
  • Pentathletes will be judged and penalized on disobedience (refusal, run-out, resistance etc), knocked down obstacles, deviations from the course, fall of horse or rider, exceeding the time allowed

Donna Vakalis at World Cup #1 in Palm Springs, CA
(February 23, 2013)

Canadian Olympian Donna Vakalis (Toronto, ON) during the ride in the Finals at World Cup #1


  • Finesse
  • Experience
  • Quick reactions


  • Speed 350m /minute. The length of course: 350 – 450m
  • 300 points = a clear round within the time allowed.
  • The points table for the ride event of the modern pentathlon can be found in the rules and regulations section: http://www.pentathlon.org/the-uipm/rules-regulations/

Additional Information

Complete rules for Pentathlon are available on the Union International de Pentathlon Moderne Website:
Rules & Regulations

Funded in part by:

  • Government of Canada
  • Canadian Olympic Committee
  • CI Investments
  • Dynamic Funds
  • Fidelity
  • National Bank Investments
  • Government of Ontario

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