The following are simple instructions on how to create a French Ring style hurdle. For exact measurements for an FR hurdle check the rulebook or this graphic and adjust these plans accordingly. These directions require only the basic tools, a saw to cut the PVC and drill to make some holes. You can adjust these instructions as needed for more or less bars, a solid key only (more Sch style), etc. I have specified the items needed to make the jump, but have not specified the size parts needed as this is personal preference. My jump is 3/4 inch pipe. The metal bars indicated are plumbing pipe that is threaded to screw into the joints.
1 foot metal bar - 4 (use 2 foot bars if you are putting the jump on an unstable/bumpy surface)
3 foot metal bar - 2
4 foot metal bar - 1
8 foot pvc pipe - 3
PVC T joint - 4
Zip Ties - 6
red and white spray paint - 1 each
1.5 inch long thin bolt and matching nut - 2
2ft x 4ft piece Corrugated Plastic - 1
4 way metal joint - 2
Go to your local hardware store to purchase each of the items. The metal bars can usually be found in the same section as the PVC. If you can find a 4 way joint in PVC you can make the entire jump out of PVC, it will be lighter to move around and easier to take apart, but not quite as robust.
The hurdle will look like this:
In this graphic the metal pipes would be the black/grey parts. The white area with blue dots is the PVC over the metal pipe. For the height adjustment get PVC that is just a little bigger than the metal pipes you used that you can slide up and down over the base. IE if you get 3/4 inch metal pipes, get 1 inch PVC. You only need 1 piece/bar of PVC for the uprights, the rest is for the red/white bars across the top and the support bar for the "snare". YOu can also purchase 4 foot wooden dowels or extra 4 foot pipes for these bars.
Make sure the T joints you purchase are the same size as the PVC, each joint will make 2 “cups”.
Attach the metal pipes in the pattern indicated. Cut 1 pvc pipe into two 3 foot lengths. Starting at one end of each pipe (this will be the top) drill matching holes 2 inches (approx 0.05m) apart (blue dots) all the way through the PVC. Slide each pipe over the upright on the jump, with the holes at the top. The nut/bolt will be used to adjust the jump height. With the bolt out of the PVC, the jump is approx 0.9m
Cut each T joint in half, along the dark grey line.
This forms your “cup”. Now on the back side of each cup where it’s still a solid circle, cut a piece out that is about 1/3 the total diameter of the circle. IE the blue line, this will be 2 cuts per cup. This allows you to snap the cup onto the PVC pipe. If you cut to much, not a big deal because you can still glue the cup to the bar. However, if you cut just enough to snap the cup onto the pipe, then you can move the cups up/down as needed to make the jump really short (a few inches) or as tall as you want. Snap each cup onto the pipe in the location indication on the graphic.
Cut the remaining 2 PVC pipes in 4 foot lengths. Spray paint 3 of them with red/white stripes. Using some heavy scissors, cut 1-2 inches from the end of the corrugated plastic, making it 2 feet by 46 inches. Punch 6 holes along the top edge (the long side) and zip tie the board to the remaining 4 foot PVC pipe.
Add the bars and snare to your jump, and start training :-)
* I left my jump outside and the pipes rusted in the joint area making the jump base unable to come apart. Since I have a truck it's not a big deal, but if you need to be able to break down your jump you should try to find the 4-way joint in PVC so you can make the entire thing in PVC, or store it in a dry location and use some WD-40 on the joints when you assemble it.
* I have seen PVC joints that are threaded, so you may be able to find PVC that will screw together like the metal pipes, making the jump lighter weight but still robust. If you don't need to take your jump apart but prefer PVC, you can glue the base together for more stability.
* Instead of corrugated plastic you can use thin plywood, peg board, or any other light weight board, you will just need some sort of saw to shorten it by a few inches, or it won't hang freely between the uprights.
© 2007 Kadi Thingvall