|Date||15 – 16 June 1956 — 09:00 (15-16/6)|
|Location||Stockholms Olympiastadion, Stockholm|
|Participants||36 from 17 countries|
|Format||Placement by point scores.|
Sweden’s Henri Saint Cyr had won the gold medal in this event in 1952, followed by Denmark’s Lis Hartel, who won the first medal in equestrian by a woman. Saint Cyr and Hartel repeated their 1-2 finish in Stockholm, although there were some complaints on nationalism by the judges, which is not uncommon in dressage. The bronze medal went to German Liselott Linsenhoff as two women won medals in the event for the first time. Linsenhoff would compete at the Olympics again in 1968-72 and won the dressage gold medal at the 1972 Olympics.
Judging controversies affected the 1956 dressage competition as both the Swedish and German judges ranked their riders 1-2-3. The German and Sweden judges, both generals, were suspended by the FEI, and the IOC threatened to take dressage out of the Olympics. After long negotiations it was agreed that there would be no team competition in Rome in 1960, only two individual riders per country would be allowed, and three judges had to be from non-participating countries.
Saint Cyr won four gold medals in dressage in 1952-56 (individual and team both years). He competed at the Olympics from 1936-60. Hartel’s story was inspirational as she been afflicted with polio in 1944 and although she recovered somewhat, she remained paralyzed below the knees for the remainder of her life. Hartel had to be helped on and off her horse.
|1||Henri Saint Cyr||SWE||Juli||860.00||Gold|
|7||Gustaf Adolf Boltenstern, Jr.||SWE||Krest||794.00|
|12||António de Almeida||POR||Feitiço||743.00|
|17||Bob Borg||USA||Bill Biddle||720.00|
|20||Leonard Lafond||CAN||Rath Patrick||657.00|
|21||Lorna Johnstone||GBR||Rosie Dream||655.00|
|22||Jean-Albert Brasu||FRA||Vol d'Amour||648.00|
|23||Inger Lemvigh-Müller||DEN||Bel Ami||644.00|
|30||Elaine Watt||USA||Connecticut Yankee||568.00|