There are various styles with various variations practiced through the world. Particular rules and layout might change slightly between different organized events but mostly principles remain the same.
Three principal styles
South Africa has joined the IHAA and uses several international patterns. At present these are:
The Hungarian style
This uses circular targets set 2m above the ground. They are 90cm in diameter with a 30cm diameter ‘bull’s eye’. The court, or run, is divided into three 30m sections. The rider has to shoot at least one arrow into each target as he or she passes at a canter. The total time allowed per run is 18 seconds.
The Korean style
This involves several disciplines and is fairly complex. In South Africa, the pattern uses 34cm² square targets and arrows must be kept in a quiver or belt, not held in the hand. The lane is 160m long with a turn to the left. Five targets are set up 30m apart and the maximum time for the run, at a canter, is 35 seconds.
The Turkish style
This employs two targets, one on the ground and one hung on a 7m pole. Blunt arrows are used and there is a time limit. Mounted Archery is a worthy addition to the range of horse sports in South Africa. It has the advantage of using sensible, well-trained horses, where looks and size are not important.
For insight into this relatively new equestrian discipline, click here.