Alternative markets that are growing in the show jumping event world 


When it comes to entertainment, there is almost too much to choose from. We’re constantly inundated with new films, TV shows, sporting championships and games. There has never been so much available to keep us entertained in our down time.

Sports have been one firm favourite when it comes to what form of entertainment beats all the others. The only part of the entertainment industry that rivals sports is gaming – people love to play slots as much as they enjoy watching others play football. 

But one part of the sporting world that seems a little niche is show jumping. There have always been people who are passionate about horses, but the show jumping world has not typically appealed to the masses.

However, all of that looks like it might start to change. We’re going to look back on where show jumping all began, as well as how it’s starting to seep into other corners of the entertainment world. 

History of show jumping 

Show jumping has been a popular sport forever, but it’s been done professionally since the 1900 Olympic games. It’s been around in the format we know and love since 1912 and has flourished ever since. 

But the tradition goes back further than that, back to the 18th century in fact. It was in France that the sport was first developed, where horses would go on long rides and jump fences around the grounds.

However, this wasn’t popular with people who wished to watch the sport, as they couldn’t easily follow the horses around the course. So, it was only a matter of time until a course would be developed in order for people to watch with ease. 

It was originally called ‘lepping’ and proved to be popular amongst the horse loving community. The name soon changed to ‘horse leaping’ when it was first displayed at a horse show in Dublin – a much more straightforward and logical name for it.

Once people started hearing about this new sport, it spread like wildfire and became one of the top horse related sports to go and see. 

How show jumping has evolved

A lot has changed since the 18th century version of ‘horse leaping’. As with any sport, the technical talent of both the horses and their riders has improved immensely. The popularity has only grown as the years have gone on – even with those who wouldn’t usually be interested in equestrian sports.

Show jumping has changed from a sport loved by those who love horses, to a sport that is loved by those who love all things elegant. Horses are not cheap animals to own or even to ride for fun, so it makes sense that they’re synonymous with luxury.

Show jumping is now in a friendly rivalry with car racing in the top sport for the world’s most wealthy sport. You can usually tell how wealthy a sport is by its sponsors, and some of the sponsorships we’ve seen for show jumping have been very impressive.

Brands such as Gucci have been known to sponsor the shows, and lots of the world’s wealthy individuals own the horses. It’s a very lucrative sport, with prize funds reaching heights of $12 million. 

These show jumping and other equestrian sports are no longer happening in muddy fields in manor grounds. They have their very own tailor made courts or even in royal grounds such as the Horse Guards Parade in London – just moments away from Buckingham Palace. 

Show jumping has gone from being a sport about those who spend their days in wellie boots, to those who hang out with the royals. It’s quite the evolution, and we can only imagine how it could change in years to come. 

How show jumping has impacted other industries 

Show jumping has found its way into other forms of entertainment. There have been a number of films based around horses over the years, focussing on the bond between humans and the horses they ride.

War Horse is one of the most prevalent examples of how the equestrian world and entertainment have come together. This 2011 film was quickly turned into a stage show that toured some of the most famous stages in the world. 

It wasn’t just the majesty of the stage production that stole people’s hearts, but the story of the relationship between humans and their animals. 

Horse related gaming has also seen a huge boom. There are now more games than ever that have horses and horse riding as a theme. You’ll find countless slot games that are based around horses, and they’re some of the most popular themes to play.  

Show jumping and horse related sports have been popular for centuries, and their popularity has found its way into other forms of entertainment. What do you think of show jumping as a sport?