Equestrianism started firstly in France at the 1900 Olympics. The competition was only for the two best horses the owners could find. The first time horses were used to transport weapons and ammunition in combat is at the battle of Naissus in 1442 between Charles VII and Sigismund, Archduke of Austria. The French knights took their warhorses into action, wearing spurs first.
It was not until the early 1700s that people started to think of the horse as a sporting animal. The English were the first to start riding horses for pleasure, and they developed many modern riding styles. The first formal equestrian competition was in 1779 when a race was held at Newmarket, England. Equestrianism soon became very popular sport in England. Then many rules and regulations were developed for this sport.
Equestrianism was first included in the Olympic Games in 1900. There were only two events: a race over 1,000 meters and a jumping contest. The French were the most successful country, winning both events. The first Olympian who rode a horse to victory was Hubert Van Innis of Belgium in 1924. He won the team event on Bantu and his country’s second gold medal as an individual, riding Cor de la Bryere to win the showjumping event.
This event competition was started in 1948 for a military horse that performed well in many different disciplines. For a while, there were three separate events involving cross-country riding, showjumping, and dressage, but this proved to be too confusing, and the competitions merged into one event known as “equestrianism.”
The first women’s Olympic equestrian competition was in 1952, but six riders were from only four countries. For the 1956 Olympics, the medals were exclusively for men because there were no female competitors. Finally, at the 1960 Olympics, women could compete for an individual award. There was controversy about this decision since some members of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) felt that women were not strong enough to ride three rounds of the cross-country course. Only one could go through at a time.
The 1964 Olympics were supposed to be for men only once again, but there was a public outcry about the decision that an individual gold medal was given to Margit Otto-Crépin of France. She was the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal in equestrianism.
Since then, women’s equestrianism has continued to grow in popularity, and now there are usually around 30 women competing for medals at the Olympics. In 2016, there were 38 competitors from 26 different countries. The equestrian events at the Olympics are always trendy, and they continue to grow in popularity every four years. The competition is now between the best horses and riders from all over the world, and it is an event that everyone can enjoy watching.
Equestrian Team Dressage involves horse riders performing a series of predetermined movements that reflect the character and temperament of their horse. The purpose is to show the unity between horse and rider and the harmony between the horse’s gaits and its natural abilities.
This type of dressage has been around for centuries, with the first known competitive event in Naples, Italy, in 1560. In 1748, King Frederick II of Prussia established the “Royal School for Palfreniers and Cavaliers” in Berlin, Germany, where riders were taught to train horses that would later be used in his cavalry regiments.
In 1900, the first modern Olympic Games were held in France and included a dressage event-based on “Horsemanship,” which was a term coined at the time to describe military riding. The first dressage World Championship took place in 1912 and remains one of five international championship events held annually by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI).
Although the number of participants has increased since its early beginnings, only three athletes have ever achieved a “perfect” score of 10 in an Olympic dressage competition. In 1984, Edward Gal and his horse Glock’s Voice achieved a perfect score at the Los Angeles Olympic Games. Then in 2000, Anky van Grunsven and Salinero achieved an ideal score at the Sydney Olympic Games. In 2008, Isabell Werth and Satchmo achieved a perfect score at the Beijing Olympic Games.
Dressage is often considered to be the pinnacle of equestrian sport, as it tests both horse and rider to their limits. The movements required are precise and need good training, communication, and understanding between horse and rider to succeed. During the qualification round, 38 horse-rider pairs compete in a series of movements that test their training, ability, and understanding of the sport. The top 18 pairs then move on to the final round, where they compete in a Grand Prix Freestyle.
The team dressage event comprises three horse-rider pairs, with each rider performing a test that is judged by a panel of five judges. The lowest score of the three riders is then discarded, and the two remaining scores are averaged together to give the team’s final score. The team dressage event is becoming increasingly popular, with teams from all over the world competing for the gold medal. In the 2012 Olympic Games, teams from Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States of America.
Some of these countries have dominated the event in recent years. Germany, Great Britain, and The Netherlands have won multiple medals at previous Olympic Games, while other teams are no doubt hoping to break through this year.
Equestrian Team eventing involves a rider completing a 3- or 4-star course while guiding their horse over jumps up to 1.15 meters high. The system consists of 8 to 12 different elements, varying from simple obstacles such as a brush fence and small ditch to more complex combinations with multiple barriers, water obstacles, and banks. In addition, there are showjumping phases at the beginning and end of the course, where the rider has to clear 1.40-meter oxers without faults. The distances between fences and time allowed vary depending on the level and height of the jump being jumped at any given time.
The riders must possess an in-depth knowledge of pace judgment, impact angles, and stride lengths. They must be able to accurately assess their horse’s capabilities to plan an efficient route around the course. This requires a high level of riding skill, as well as a deep understanding of equestrianism.
Equestrian Team eventing is a demanding sport that tests both horse and rider to their limits. The best team, consisting of the individual with the fastest time on cross-country and the horse with the slightest faults in showjumping, wins gold.
Eventing is dangerous because of the risk that the horse will suffer an injury, be injured by the rider, or even die during the event. The first recorded equestrian eventing fatalities were in the early 1800s. A horse fell and rolled over its rider, who died from injuries. Since then, there have been numerous other fatalities in the sport, with the most recent occurring in 2017. In that year, a horse fell on its rider during cross-country, and she died from her injuries.
The design of the cross-country obstacles can also be a safety concern. In Augusta, GA, in 2013, a horse was spooked by a barrier and ran into the woods, where it crashed into a tree and died on the scene. In 2015, two event horses were killed when they fell while going over a jump at the Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton, NY.
Despite the inherent dangers of the sport, many equestrians choose to compete in eventing because of the challenge it presents and the thrill of completing a challenging course. It is a test of horsemanship that rewards those who have trained their horses well and have a deep understanding of the sport.
Showjumping in the Olympics involves a gruelling schedule, with 30 horse and rider pairs competing against each other in a Grand Prix 2 days before the main event. Disciplines include dressage, endurance, eventing and now show jumping, all of which require years of strenuous training and a great deal of money. And it’s not just the horses who need to be in top condition. “Olympic riders have to be physically and mentally tough,” said U.S. show jumper McLain Ward, who has won two Olympic gold medals. Many of the athletes competing in Rio this year have been preparing for years, racking up experience at international competitions and perfecting their skills.
“It’s been hard work, but it’s also been a lot of fun,” Germany’s Ingrid Klimke told Reuters as she prepared to take part in her sixth Olympics. “You have very high highs and very low lows. I think the highs make the lows worthwhile.” The sport requires excellent technical ability as well as bravery and horsemanship. “The rider has to have a lot of sensitivity to the horse because if you don’t have that, the horse will not jump well,” said Brazilian showjumper Luciana Diniz.
Competitors also need nerves of steel. “You can never be too confident in this sport,” said Sweden’s Peder Fredricson. “There’s always a chance of a mistake, and you can easily be eliminated.” Despite the challenges, many riders consider it an honour to compete in the Olympics. “It’s the biggest stage in our sport,” said Ward. “I’m very lucky to have been able to do it a few times.”
At 1900 Olympics played in France, military and non-military riders were allowed to participate in show jumping. The course comprised 15 obstacles and 29 jumping efforts. French and American riders won gold in men’s and women’s events, respectively. At the 1924 Olympics in Paris, only military riders were allowed to compete in show jumping. The event consisted of 17 obstacles over a course measuring 2,800 meters. The Swiss rider Peder Althaus won the gold medal on his horse Rothorn.
The first Olympic showjumping event open to both military and civilian riders was held at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The course featured 18 obstacles and 30 jumping efforts. The German rider Josef Neckermann won the gold medal on his horse Furioso II. In 1948, the Olympic Games were cancelled due to World War II. The first Olympic showjumping event that allowed both male and female riders to compete was held at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. The course consisted of 18 obstacles and 30 jumping efforts. The Belgian rider Constant van Paesschen won the gold medal on his horse Allard.
The 1956 Olympics in Melbourne were the first Olympics to include an equestrian tournament held outside of Europe. Australian riders won all three medals in the men’s and women’s show jumping events, with David Armstrong winning gold on Kashmir and Rodney Powell winning silver on Queen Bee. The 1964 Olympics in Tokyo marked the first time that international teams were allowed to compete in show jumping. The course featured 18 obstacles and 30 jumping efforts, and the gold medal was won by American rider Robert Maguire on Charisma.
The 1968 Olympics in Mexico were the first time that shows jumping was included as a team Olympic sport. The course consisted of 19 obstacles and 32 jumping efforts over 2,300 meters. French riders Guy Lefrant and Pierre Jonquères d’Oriola won the gold medal on their horse’s Dollar and Quidam de Revel, respectively. In 1972, show jumping was again included as a team Olympic sport, this time at the Munich Olympics. The course consisted of 18 obstacles and 30 jumping efforts over 2,500 meters. The Swedish team of Ingrid Andren, Bo Skoglund, and Per-Anders Pettersson won the gold medal.
At the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, the course consisted of 18 obstacles and 30 jumping efforts over 2,500 meters. The American team of Greg Best, Leslie Burr Howard, and Anne Kursinski won the gold medal. In 1984, the Olympic Games were held in Los Angeles. The course consisted of 18 obstacles and 30 jumping efforts over 2,500 meters. The American team of Greg Best, Leslie Burr Howard, and Anne Kursinski won the gold medal.
The 1988 Olympics in Seoul were the first to include a team competition for show jumping riders aged 19 years or younger. The course consisted of 18 obstacles and 30 jumping efforts over 2,200 meters. The American team of Julie Richards, Cheryl Springsteen-Hoffman, and Lenny Frommer won the gold medal. The 1996 Olympics in Atlanta were the first to include a Grand Prix as part of the competition schedule. The course consisted of 36 obstacles and 74 jumping efforts. The American rider Margie Engle won the gold medal on her horse, Hidden Creek’s Boomerang.