History and Evolution 

Born from the vision of Helmut Piller in 2004, Horseathlon® emerged as a harmonious alternative to traditional equestrian competitions. Initially conducted in collaboration with the Swiss Equestrian Federation, it provided a platform for horse enthusiasts to showcase their horses' abilities with respect and empathy. Over a decade, Horseathlon® refined its approach, gathering insights and experiences to shape its present-day incarnation. 


The Heart of Horseathlon® 

Central to the Horseathlon® ethos is the recognition that horses are not mere sports equipment but sentient creatures deserving of empathy and understanding. In stark contrast to the rush for speed and trophies, Horseathlon® prioritises the horse's motivated cooperation. It's a celebration of the journey, not just the destination, emphasising precision, beauty and suitability for the horse over rapid achievement. 


Competition with Compassion 

At the heart of Horseathlon® competitions lie in three disciplines: trail/dressage ridden, groundwork, and composure. Each discipline comprises eight tasks, promoting a comprehensive approach to horsemanship. Horseathlon® welcomes all equids - horses, ponies, mules and donkeys - embracing diversity across breeds, styles, ages and levels. 


 in hand jumping with pony


Categories for All 

The competition caters to a wide range of participants through its categories, reflecting different levels of difficulty and guidance: 

  • D1, D2, D3 - Ridden categories, catering to varying difficulty levels 

  • F1, F2, F3 - Guided categories, accommodating various challenge levels 


The Resurgence: A Fresh Chapter 

After a decade of collaborative success, the Horseathlon® team recognised the need for a revitalised direction. In 2016, the team embarked on a new journey, reimagining Horseathlon® with a fresh perspective and a renewed commitment to horse welfare. This transformation ensures that the competition continues to embody its core values while adapting to the changing needs of riders and horses. 


Gratitude and Acknowledgment 

Behind Horseathlon®'s evolution stand countless individuals who have dedicated their time and passion. Uschi Regli of Wauwil and Pascal Losey of Avry-sur-Matran have played pivotal roles, infusing the concept with their commitment, dedication and heartfelt involvement. 


A Testament to Equine Partnership 

Horseathlon® is more than a competition; it's a testament to the profound relationship between humans and horses. With its history, evolution and principles, it shines a light on the possibilities of harmonious horsemanship. As Horseathlon® forges ahead, it invites equestrians to embrace a journey that encompasses skill, empathy and respect, underscoring the simple truth that what is done from the heart is sincere - a message that resonates deeply within the world of Horseathlon®. 


 horse in hand obstacle course


Horseathlon®’s Online World Championship Sets a New Eco-Friendly Standard 

Who has ever fantasised about competing in a sporting event with others from outside their country? This will be possible starting on 1st October 2023. After the first 2022 Online Competition, Horseathlon® is going further by realising the first-ever Horseathlon® Online World Championship. 

We have a climate problem; this has become clear to most people at this point, and we are all required to do our part to reduce carbon emissions. The equitation scene is not exempt from this fact. In a 2018 study by the Schaffhausen-based consulting firm ESU Services on the eco-balance of pets, the horse comes off rather negatively. In comparison to other pets, horse husbandry has the highest climate-relevant impact. In addition to food and bedding, the transportation to stables, competitions and events are particularly significant. 

Does it still make sense in this day and age to drive horses through half of Europe and back or even fly them overseas to take part in an event? Most equestrian sports could offer alternatives that are easier to implement. In the future, each individual and the equestrian sports associations will have to reassess, and if necessary, make changes. 

Innovation and ethics have shaped Horseathlon® for more than 20 years. Two decades ago, with the first competition, the goal wasn't higher, faster, further, but more beautiful, precise, and suitable for the horse. A few years ago, the ethics committee of Horseathlon® met to ensure that the horses' welfare was paramount and to identify and make the event as horse-friendly as possible. 

For ecological reasons and enthusiasm to try new things, the Horseathlon® team organised an Online Horseathlon. In 2023, the organising committee is going a step further. Horseathlon® is going international and invites all motivated and dedicated riders worldwide to participate in the first Horseathlon® Online World Championship. 

No matter which discipline of riding you come from, all those who deal with their equines fairly and responsibly can participate. It is advantageous, however, if you and your horse are familiar with gymnastics and trail obstacles on the ground and in the saddle. By no means does everyone have to set up their own course. We recommend getting together with a group of like-minded people in your region. This way, the effort to build the course is minimised, and the eco-balance is even better. In training together, you will end up having more fun and socialising. 



horseathlon water onstacle