Equestrian Dressage

Facts

Discipline of Equestrian
Participants 512
NOCs 49
Competitions held 44 (Venues)
Distinct events 4
IF Fédération Équestre Internationale

Description

Equestrian dressage is a sort of ballet on horseback in which the rider has the horse perform certain intricate maneuvers of stepping. The scoring is done by judges who evaluate how well the horse executes the moves. Dressage is a French term, most commonly translated to mean “training.”

Dressage was first contested at the Olympics in 1912 at Stockholm, although team dressage was not added until the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. Both individual and team dressage have been on the Olympic Program since, with the lone exception of 1960 when only an individual competition was contested. Through 1948, Olympic equestrian events were limited to military officers and men only, but in 1952 this was changed, and dressage became open to either gender at the Olympics.

Dressage is scored by judges evaluating the execution and purity of each performance. Olympic competitions in dressage have usually consisted of two or three rounds, with scoring done for each round, and lower placed competitors eliminated after each round. Since 1996 Olympic individual dressage has consisted of three phases – Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special, and Grand Prix Freestyle.

Equestrian disciplines are governed by the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI), which was formed in 1921 by Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and the United States, and had 138 member nations as of 2020. The FEI governs several different disciplines of equestrianism, including jumping, eventing, dressage, driving, and vaulting. The top nations in equestrian events at the Olympics have been Germany, Sweden, the United States, and France.

All-time medal table

Olympic Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Germany GER 13 9 7 29
Sweden SWE 7 5 7 19
West Germany FRG 7 3 3 13
Soviet Union URS 4 3 3 10
Switzerland SUI 3 6 4 13
Netherlands NED 3 6 3 12
France FRA 3 5 2 10
Great Britain GBR 3 1 1 5
Austria AUT 1 0 1 2
Denmark DEN 0 3 1 4
United States USA 0 1 8 9
Spain ESP 0 1 1 2
Bulgaria BUL 0 1 0 1
Canada CAN 0 0 1 1
Portugal POR 0 0 1 1
Romania ROU 0 0 1 1

Most successful competitors

Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Isabell Werth GER 6 4 0 10
Reiner Klimke GER
FRG
6 0 2 8
Nicole Uphoff-Becker GER
FRG
4 0 0 4
Henri Saint Cyr SWE 4 0 0 4
Anky van Grunsven NED 3 5 1 9
Charlotte Dujardin GBR 3 1 0 4
Monica Theodorescu GER
FRG
3 0 0 3
Josef Neckermann GER
FRG
2 2 2 6
Liselott Linsenhoff GER
FRG
2 2 1 5
André Jousseaumé FRA 2 2 1 5

Event types

Name Gender Still contested? Times held?
Dressage, Individual Open 17
Dressage, Team Open 16
Dressage, Individual Men 7
Dressage, Team Men 4