Spruce Meadows·INTERACTIVE

Play Spruce Meadows 'Lingo Bingo'

Sometimes it's hard to navigate the lexicon of show jumping. With that in mind, we've created a fun way to follow along with all the action at Spruce Meadows this weekend.

Watch all weekend and play along with the broadcast

"It was a big enough track today with lots of rideability and scope tests. My horse was unbelievably brave and really handled the oxers and verticles like a champion. I'm glad that I let him go for the extra stride between the liverpools and the combination because I think that made the difference in me getting such a fantastic time and the clear ride."

Did you get all of that?

Sometimes it's hard to navigate the lexicon of show jumping. With that in mind, we've created a fun way to follow along with all the action at Spruce Meadows this weekend.

We've put together some of the phrases commonly used by show jumpers and commentators, along with an explanation for each term.

Play along at home this weekend during the Spruce Meadows ATCO Cup, and send a photo of your completed Lingo Bingo cards to us @CBCSports for your chance to win some swag!

The lingo

  • Gait: The manner in which a horse travels — these include walk, trot, canter and gallop.
  • Jump-off: This occurs after two or more entries have equal faults after the first round and a tie for first place must be broken. The horse and rider will usually ride a shortened course against the clock. The winner is the horse and rider with the fewest faults in the quickest time.
  • Clean: When the horse and rider complete the course in the time allotted with no faults.
  • Off course: The rider is considered "off course" when they have strayed from the order, or direction, of the obstacles to be jumped.
  • Knockdown: An obstacle is considered to be knocked down when the height or width of a jump has been altered by the horse and rider. Four faults are assessed per knockdown.
  • Rail: The poles or planks used on the obstacles.
  • Skinny: Any fence with a narrow face. These type of obstacles require accurate riding and the ability to keep the horse straight.
  • Refusal: This happens when a horse stops in front of an obstacle or runs off the side to an approach of an obstacle in an attempt to avoid jumping the fence. The first refusal adds four faults; a second results in elimination.
  • Water jump: An obstacle that requires the horse to jump a wide stretch of water.
  • Takeoff: The optimal spot to which riders must get their horse in order to clear the obstacle.
  • Order of go: This can be determined in two ways — a seeded order is determined by performance in previous competitions during the week, or a random draw is held.
  • Oxer: This fence tests not only the horse's ability to jump high, but wide as well. The parallel oxer, in which the front and back rails are equal height, is the most difficult type of oxer jump.
  • Time allowed: The specific amount of time set by the course designer for a horse and rider to complete the course.
  • Stride: The distance between successive imprints of the same hoof. The length of a stride is different for each horse.
  • Stallion: An uncastrated male horse over the age of three years.
  • Walking the course: When the riders preview a course by walking it beforehand. Horses never see the course before the competition.
  • Triple bar: A type of jump that uses three sets of standards with rails and graduating heights to make a spread jump. It's a relatively easy jump but very wide, meaning the horse has to jump out as well as up.
  • Bridle: The headgear worn by a show jumping horse, which is used to direct the horse.
  • Fault: A penalty incurred during a jump, which includes downed rails, fence refusals or going over the time limit.
  • Mare:  A female horse over the age of three years.
  • Bit: A piece of the bridle that sits in the mouth of the horse, which helps direct the horse.
  • Vertical: A jump that is essentially made of a vertical board or poles.
  • Colt:. A young male horse, usually under the age of four years.


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