Show jumping, also known as "stadium jumping," "open jumping," or "jumpers," is a member of a family of English riding equestrian events. Show jumping is a relatively new equestrian sport. Until the Inclosure Acts which came into force in England in the 18th century there had been little need for horses to jump fences routinely, but with this act of parliament came new challenges for those who followed fox hounds. Jumping began early in France, when cross country races combined running with jumping and ran literally across the country in forerunners of today's speed derby. Although the races were fun for participants, they didn't make great observer sports, since the crowd would have had to follow the horses on their fifty or hundred kilometer runs. Thus, it was not long before fences began to appear in an arena for the competitions. This became known as Lepping.
1869 was the year ‘horse leaping’ came to prominence at Dublin horse show. Fifteen years later, Lepping competitions were brought to Britain and by 1900 most of the more important shows had Lepping classes. Separate classes were held for women riding sidesaddle. An Italian riding instructor, Captain Federico Caprilli, heavily influenced the world of jumping with his ideas promoting a forward position with shorter stirrups. This style placed the rider in a position that did not interfere with the balance of the horse while negotiating obstacles. This style, now known as the forward seat, is commonly used today.
Equestrian Summer London Olympics 2012 are scheduled to be held between 28 July and 9 August, at the Greenwich Park venue in London.