Hidden Valley ODE

 Hidden Valley ODE

You don’t however have to be an equestrian guru to enjoy the Hidden Valley ODE weekend.

One Day Eventing (ODE), otherwise known as Horse Trials, is often regarded as the ultimate challenge in horsemanship. It combines three equestrian Olympic disciplines Dressage, Cross-Country and Show jumping. The sport originated as a competition to test the obedience, stamina, courage and fitness of the cavalry horses, and became an Olympic sport in 1896.

Dressage is the first phase of the competition and is the only phase to be judged subjectively. Here the horse and rider perform a series of preset movements and change of pace, in front of  qualified Judges [the Ground Jury] who mark the test in good points. These are then converted to penalty points which means the lower the score the better the combination has performed. Marks are awarded for the obedience, suppleness and responsiveness of the horse and the ability and technique of the rider.

The skills needed for dressage form part of the basic training of any horse, and these skills are just as important in the jumping arena and on the cross country course. For this reason, dressage is a vital part of the Two Day Event.


Show Jumping is the second phase of the Hidden Valley ODE. The competitors are asked to perform over a course of show jumps. This is to demonstrate that they still have the energy, stamina and obedience to jump in a controlled and precise manner. Once again mistakes during the round are penalised.


Check out the two photo galleries below of the Hidden Valley ODE 2013



Cross Country is the final phase of the Hidden Valley ODE. This is a test of the speed, fitness, training and courage of both horse and rider. It is, undoubtedly, this element that presents the quintessential image of the sport and the phase on which the whole competition pivots. It demands a trusting partnership between horse and rider as they are faced with a course of fences that will include into water, over drops and through combination obstacles, which requires accurate riding. Their performance is timed so that riders have to learn to judge pace and speed and know the capabilities of their horse. Competitors are scored over each fence, accumulating penalty points for any mistake, as well as penalties for exceeding the time allowed.