Three-day eventing is a very rewarding activity for pensioners, enabling them to enjoy fresh air, explore the countryside, meet minor royalty and fall into large ornamental ponds.
Unless you’re competing at Olympic level, very little specialised equipment is necessary, apart from a horse (or similar conveyance), portable trough and a bespoke buttock bolster for post-event comfort.
The three elements of a three-day event are
Dressage. A demonstration of your control over your mount, with extra marks for convincing whinnying, pricking your ears (not to be attempted by pensioners wearing wigs) and pawing the ground in time to music by Jean-Michel Jarre.
Cross-country. A four mile course of fences which is usually negotiated separately by horse and rider after the first three obstacles.
Snow bunting. Competitors attempt impressions of Plectrophenax nivalis, including flying, perching, feeding and migrating. (Prior to 2004, when the RSPB became the sport’s main sponsor, this element was known as show jumping).