Scoring is based off of the results of your dressage test. Where judges score each movement of the pattern on a scale of 1 through 10. The pattern must be memorized previously.
For example, if a twenty meter circle is required, the judge will specifically give you a score on that specific movement. When the test is complete, the entire test with multiple movements will be added up providing the overall score.
Cross country for many, persists to be the hardest phase of Eventing. Cross country courses are several miles of uneven terrain, must be completed within a certain amount of time, and are all immovable solid fences. Horses are required to go through water, down drops, up banks, over ditches, at a quick pace. If horses refuse to go over a fence or complete the course too fast or slow penalty points will be added on to the Dressage test. If a horse or rider falls, elimination from the show follows.
Stadium, unlike cross country, lies within an enclosed arena with the course lasting between 2-3 minutes. Fences easily fall down, requiring the horse to be particularly careful with its legs. Although this phase may not appear to be as challenging as cross country, by the third phase horses begin to tire. Stadium requires detail and meticulous talent to complete without knocking over a rail. These fences are brightly colored and decorated, an easy distraction for a fatigued horse. Penalties include time faults (going to fast or slow), refusing a fence, or knocking over rails.
Let’s say, that horse and rider, team A, received 150 points out of 190. They are now riding on 40 penalty points.
Moving onto the next phase of cross country, the horse refused to jump a fence, therefore affecting their time putting them over the time limit. This adds on 20 penalty points for refusing along with 10 time faults. Now changing their score from 40 to 70.
In Stadium they knock over 3 fences but are within the time limit. Each rail costs them 4 points.
This now means they will end the show with 82 penalties as their final score.