Equestrian Dressage at the 1912 Summer Olympics

Dates 15 – 15 July 1912
Medal Events 1

Equestrian events had previously only been contested at the 1900 Paris Olympics. In 1909 at the 10th IOC Session (Berlin), the Swedish committee made a proposal concerning equestrian events at Stockholm, which was adopted in principle by the IOC. A Swedish committee was formed, under the patronage of HRH Prince Carl, for what was termed the “Horse Riding Competitions.”

At the 12th IOC Session (1911 in Budapest) a committee of IOC members was organized to assist with the preparations for equestrian sports at the 1912 Olympic Games. This committee consisted of the following IOC members, all nobility: Prince Otto zu Windisch-Grätz (AUT), Karl, Baron von Venningen-Ullner von Diepburg (GER), Géza, Count Andrassy (HUN), Eugenio, Count Brunetta d’Usseaux (HUN), and Clarence von Rosen (SWE). Only “gentlemen” riders, as determined by the equestrian federations in their respective nations, were allowed to compete in the 1912 Olympic equestrian events. Thus, women and non-commissioned officers were excluded.

A dressage competition was contested in Stockholm, but the event was called the Prize Riding Event in the 1912 Official Report. It was similar to, but not precisely the same as, what we now know as dressage. In addition to the dressage tests, there were a number of obstacles for the horse and rider to negotiate. Only an individual event was on the Olympic Program in 1912.

Cash prizes were normally given at equestrian events in that era, but at Stockholm there were no cash prizes, only Olympic medals to be won. The Organizing Committee feared that the absence of cash prizes would severely limit the number of entrants. In order to counter that and to spur the interest of the better riders, they persuaded Kings and Emperors to set up prestigious Challenge Prizes. For dressage this was The Emperor of Austria’s Prize, an equestrian stauette in silver, which was won by Carl, Count Bonde of Sweden.

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Individual, Men Olympic 15 July 1912 21 8
21 (21/0) 8 (8/0)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Individual, Men Carl, Count BondeSWE Gustaf Adolf Boltenstern, Sr.SWE Hans von Blixen-Finecke, Sr.SWE

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Sweden SWE 1 1 1 3