Competition Scoring

Competitions have individual, pas de deux and Squad classes. Categories of competition range from preliminary classes at walk, through to open classes at canter.

Vaulters compete over two rounds. The first round focuses on a series of standard compulsory exercises that are prescribed according to the competency level of the vaulter. Each compulsory exercise has a maximum of ten points that can be attained. The second round is the freestyle where vaulters get to be creative. The freestyle is scored according to the degree of difficulty of the routine, the artistic attributes, and the combination of static and dynamic exercises. The performance score is worth twice as much as the other scores. This is assessed on the quality of the exercises, and the harmony with the horse. There are usually two or more judges, scores are combined and averaged. There are points deducted from the final score for falls from 0.5 for minor falls and up to 1.0 for major falls. On the third fall the vaulter is eliminated but this rarely occurs.

The performance of the horse and Lunger contribute considerably to the vaulters final score. In the vaulting horse the judges look for much the same qualities in gait as a dressage horse with a particular focus on rhythm, flexion, impulsion and balance. Lungers must have soft hand on the lunge rein and use the whip in the much the same way as a rider would use their leg.