Equestrian

Equestrian

images of Equestrian

Olympic Sports

Equestrian

Equestrian comprises three disciplines: Dressage, Eventing and Jumping. This is the only Olympic sport that involves animals, and also men and women competing on equal terms.

Equestrian became an Olympic sport at the Paris 1900 Games. It then disappeared until Stockholm 1912 but has been included in the programme ever since. Individual and team medals are awarded in each of the three Equestrian disciplines.

Success demands complete harmony and trust between human and animal, with the rider communicating through their hands on the reins, legs and shifts in body weight to encourage the horse to respond. Indeed, the qualities of the horse are tested to the same extent as those of the athlete.

International Federation: Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI)(Open in a new window)

Event Programme

Dressage

  • Team Competition
  • Individual Competition

Eventing

  • Team Competition
  • Individual Competition

Jumping

  • Team Competition
  • Individual Competition

ESSENCE OF THE SPORT

Dressage

Equestrian athletes

Dressage is considered the art of Equestrian sport and is used as the groundwork for all other disciplines. It tests the ability of horse and rider to display both athletic prowess and supreme elegance by examining, for example, a rider's ability to make their horse move quickly from side to side, burst into a gallop or change direction immediately, using subtle commands. Pairs also perform a freestyle routine to music. Riders compete in a rectangular arena measuring 20 metres x 60m.

When horse and rider are in perfect partnership, the horse can appear to be ‘dancing’ and enjoying the experience of competing. Achieving this level of unity takes years of practice and requires consummate skill and control.

Eventing
In Eventing, horse and rider pairs compete in three events (dressage, cross-country and jumping, in that order) over several days, with the rider who has the least total points deducted winning the gold medal. In this all-encompassing test of equestrian skill, the performances of each rider and horse pair count as individual results, and the results for three riders and their horses are totalled as team results.

In the cross-country element, more than 40 obstacles including fences, hedges and water jumps are positioned on an undulating course. Horses and their riders cover this demanding course, which is close to 6km in length, in about 10 minutes at speeds exceeding 30 kph, making for a compelling spectacle. Riders who choose the shortest possible route may be rewarded with faster times but higher risk of failure, adding a tactical aspect to the challenge.

Jumping
In Jumping, riders are timed over a course as their horses jump obstacles that may include parallel rails, triple bars, water jumps and simulated stone walls. Obstacles are up to 1.6m high and up to 2m deep. Penalties are awarded for jumps not cleared correctly or missed altogether. The winner is the rider and horse that finishes with the fewest penalties in the fastest time after a set number of rounds.

OUTLOOK FOR THE TOKYO 2020 GAMES

A spectacular show of equestrian prowess

Equestrian athletes

Germany has won the most gold medals in Equestrian, with 26, reflecting that country's natural environment and equestrian heritage. Michael Jung(Open in a new window) has dominated individual Eventing at recent Games, winning the gold at both London 2012 and Rio 2016. Jung was destined to make his name in equestrianism: both his father and grandfather were well-known riders. Sweden, France, the USA and Great Britain are among the other leading nations.

The only medal won by a Japanese Equestrian athlete is the gold medal captured by Takeichi Nishi and his horse Uranus in the individual Jumping competition at Los Angeles 1932.

Japan's Equestrian team at the Rio 2016 Games consisted of 10 athletes. Numerous Japanese riders are active in Europe and their skill level is steadily improving through competing in international events.

TRIVIA

Question

Horses that compete in Olympic Equestrian events require something in order to be admitted to the host country, just like people. What is that something?

Answer

A:A passport. This is used to identify individual horses and to verify their health and hygiene. If a horse lacks a passport or the passport is deemed inaccurate, it will not be able to compete.

Competition Venues

  • Sea Forest Cross-Country Course
  • Equestrian Park

Olympic Sports

Paralympic Sports