Written by an Olympic course designer, this is an indispensable guide for anyone involved in the design and construction of cross-country courses. Whether you are designing fences for use at home, planning a hunter trials or building an international course, you will find plenty of practical guidelines. For the competitor, the book provides a meaningful guide to the art of cross-country riding as seen from the designer's perspective. In recent years, there has been a marked change in the courses presented to the competitor: the fences are generally more imposing, the materials are bigger, and the courses are undoubtedly more technical. The responsibility of course designers has never been greater. Competitors expect a good product and they need to know that a course has been built to the safest possible standard. At the same time, the course designer must produce a course which is challenging to horse and rider. Mike Etherington-Smith writes about the theory of course design, siting of fences and use of natural features, fences and courses in general, distances, shapes and profiles of fences, design and construction of water obstacles, combinations and bounces. Basic advice about fence construction and the use of portable fences is included. The book includes fence-by-fence plans and descriptions for three sample courses to suit riders of differing abilities. These plans provide the reader with a fascinating insight to the art of course design. Incorporating the latest thoughts on course safety and illustrated throughout with line drawings by Christine Bousfield and photographs, this is the definitive work on the subject.