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Evolution of the Water Jump

Written by Bernie Traurig

I was very pleased to aquire this fantastic video from my friends in Hungary, Gyorgy Bazar and Fabian Istvan of the 1936 Olympic Games and the coverage of the water jump, which as I understand it was the first deep water introduced in the Olympics.

It brings back many memories of my eventing days and experiences with the water along with a couple of my team mates, Michael Plumb and Michael Page.  We were also victims of deep water in the Olympic Trials for Tokyo, 1964 and I have included some of the footage of that particular water obstacle in this video as well.


bernie, water, jump, eventing, horse

In this video, Bernie Traurig takes a look back at the progression water jumps have made in the sport of eventing. You’ll see unbelievable footage of horses and riders negotiating the very first and very daunting water jump that made it’s debut at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Eventing super star, Michael Plumb, makes quite a splash in rare footage from the 1964 Olympic Trials in Gladstone, New Jersey.  The more “civilized” water obstacles used today can be seen in 2007 footage when Olympian Gina Miles and her horse McKinlaigh skillfully negotiate the water at the beautiful Badminton Horse Trials.


Gina Miles Water Jump

On our video website, Olympian and guest coach Gina Miles, shows us how to introduce a green or inexperienced horse to ditches and water jumps. Ginaʼs process will instill confidence in you and, most importantly, your horse! Click here to view “Ditches and Water.”

For more tips on water jumps from Denny Emerson and Olivia Loiacono,  click here to view “Training an Eventing Horse to get Comfortable with Water Drop Jumps”.

Bernie Traurig

As a Horseman, Bernie is renowned for not only his riding talents but for his teaching and coaching gifts. As a competitor, Bernie has represented the United States Equestrian Team both at home and abroad on many occasions and reached the top of the sport in all 3 of the International Equestrian Olympic disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing.After amassing 60 years worth of training and riding techniques and experiences with thousands of horses, Bernie is driven to give back to the sport that has given him so much fulfillment and success.

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