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Equestrian at the 2008 Summer Olympics

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Title: Equestrian at the 2008 Summer Olympics  
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Subject: United States at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Equestrian at the 2007 Pan American Games, Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Hong Kong Sports Institute, Beezie Madden
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Equestrian at the 2008 Summer Olympics

Equestrian at the
2008 Summer Olympics
Dressage individual team
Eventing individual team
Jumping individual team
Pictogram used to identify equestrian events at the 2008 Games

Equestrian competitions at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics were held from August 9 to August 21 at the Hong Kong Sports Institute and Sheung Yue River in Hong Kong. It was the second time the equestrian events were hosted by a member of the IOC other than the member hosting the main games. Unlike 1956, however, the equestrian events were part of the main games, and were held within the same period.


A Japanese competitor in dressage at the Games

6 sets of medals were awarded in the following events:


Each event has its own qualification rules, but generally rely on FEI rankings.

Dressage qualification

For the team competition there were a total of 10 quota spots and as many composite as qualify. Three team spots were awarded at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games. In addition 7 team spots were awarded at regional competitions (Europe: 3, Americas: 2, Asia: 2). In addition, should a country have three athletes qualified in the individual competition, they will be considered a team and allowed to compete as a composite team. Five teams qualified under this scheme.

For the individual competition, 50 spots were allocated as follows. Thirty spots were awarded to the athletes who qualified as teams above. In addition, the highest ranked rider from each of seven geographic regions and the host nation qualify. Then the top twelve riders based on rank FEI rank who had not otherwise qualified are given spots.

Jumping qualification

A country may send up to five riders if it qualified for the team competition, two otherwise. Similar to Dressage, teams of five riders were qualified at either the World Equestrian Games, a region competition, or through a composite spot. The WEG awarded five spots, the regions eight (Americas: 2, Europe: 2, Asia: 4), and two composite teams qualified. For the individual competition there were a total of 73 spot allocated as follows: 45 team member, 1 host nation, 7 regional, and 22 at-large.

Eventing qualification

Competition schedule

All times are Hong Kong Time (UTC+8).

Date Start Finish Event Stage
Saturday, August 9, 2008 06:30 10:30 Eventing Team Dressage (Day 1)
Eventing Individual Dressage (Day 1)
19:15 23:15 Eventing Team Dressage (Day 1)
Eventing Individual Dressage (Day 1)
Sunday, August 10, 2008 06:30 10:30 Eventing Team Dressage (Day 2)
Eventing Individual Dressage (Day 2)
Monday, August 11, 2008 08:00 11:30 Eventing Team Cross Country (held at Beas River)
Eventing Individual Cross Country (held at Beas River)
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 19:15 22:15 Eventing Team Jumping (Final)
Eventing Individual Jumping (Qualifier)
22:30 23:30 Eventing Individual Jumping (Final)
Wednesday, August 13, 2008 19:15 24:15 Dressage Team Grand Prix (Day 1)
Dressage Individual Grand Prix 1st Qualifier (Day 1)
Thursday, August 14, 2008 19:15 23:45 Dressage Individual Grand Prix 1st Qualifier (Day 2)
Dressage Team Grand Prix (Day 2)
Friday, August 15, 2008 19:15 23:15 Jumping Individual 1st Qualifier
Saturday, August 16, 2008 19:15 24:00 Dressage Individual Grand Prix Special 2nd Qualifier
Sunday, August 17, 2008 19:15 23:15 Jumping Team Final Round 1
Jumping Individual 2nd Qualifier
Monday, August 18, 2008 19:15 22:15 Jumping Team Final Round 2
Jumping Individual 3rd Qualifier
Tuesday, August 19, 2008 19:15 22:15 Dressage Individual Grand Prix Freestyle
Thursday, August 21, 2008 19:15 21:45 Jumping Individual Final Round A
22:00 23:00 Jumping Individual Final Round B

Medal summary

Medal table

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Germany (GER) 3 1 1 5
2  United States (USA) 1 1 1 3
3  Canada (CAN) 1 1 0 2
 Netherlands (NED) 1 1 0 2
5  Australia (AUS) 0 1 0 1
 Sweden (SWE) 0 1 0 1
7  Great Britain (GBR) 0 0 2 2
8  Denmark (DEN) 0 0 1 1
 Switzerland (SUI) 0 0 1 1


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Individual dressage
 Anky van Grunsven on Salinero
Netherlands (NED)
 Isabell Werth on Satchmo
Germany (GER)
 Heike Kemmer on Bonaparte
Germany (GER)
Team dressage
 Germany (GER)
Heike Kemmer on Bonaparte
Nadine Capellmann on Elvis Va
Isabell Werth on Satchmo
 Netherlands (NED)
Hans Peter Minderhoud on Nadine
Imke Schellekens-Bartels on Sunrise
Anky van Grunsven on Salinero
 Denmark (DEN)
Anne van Olst on Clearwater
Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg on Digby
Andreas Helgstrand on Don Schufro
Individual jumping
 Eric Lamaze on Hickstead
Canada (CAN)
 Rolf-Göran Bengtsson on Ninja
Sweden (SWE)
 Beezie Madden on Authentic
United States (USA)
Team jumping
 United States (USA)
McLain Ward on Sapphire
Laura Kraut on Cedric
Will Simpson on Carlsson vom Dach
Beezie Madden on Authentic
 Canada (CAN)
Jill Henselwood on Special Ed
Eric Lamaze on Hickstead
Ian Millar on In Style
Mac Cone on Ole
 Switzerland (SUI)
Christina Liebherr on No Mercy
Pius Schwizer on Nobless M
Niklaus Schurtenberger on Cantus
Steve Guerdat on Jalisca Solier
Individual eventing
 Hinrich Romeike on Marius
Germany (GER)
 Gina Miles on McKinlaigh
United States (USA)
 Kristina Cook on Miners Frolic
Great Britain (GBR)
Team eventing
 Germany (GER)
Peter Thomsen on The Ghost of Hamish
Frank Ostholt on Mr. Medicott
Andreas Dibowski on Butts Leon
Ingrid Klimke on Abraxxas
Hinrich Romeike on Marius
 Australia (AUS)
Shane Rose on All Luck
Sonja Johnson on Ringwould Jaguar
Lucinda Fredericks on Headley Britannia
Clayton Fredericks on Ben Along Time
Megan Jones on Irish Jester
 Great Britain (GBR)
Sharon Hunt on Tankers Town
Daisy Dick on Spring Along
William Fox-Pitt on Parkmore Ed
Kristina Cook on Miners Frolic
Mary King on Call Again Cavalier


A spectator area and water jump in the eventing portion of the Games

The equestrian competitions were held apart from the main games in Hong Kong, which is a separate member to the IOC. This was because Hong Kong has established a huge horse racing industry since its British colonial days; therefore, strict quarantine measures for horses have been well established in the region, and were likely to result in fewer problems with equine disease than other cities in mainland China. Additionally, there were already some stabling sites for horses within Hong Kong, hence less construction was needed to facilitate the equestrian sports required by the Olympics.

There were two main equestrian venues: Hong Kong Sports Institute (adjacent to Sha Tin Racecourse) and the Beas River Country Club. The Sports Institute held the main competition arena, which included an 80 × 100 meter stadium will all-weather footing and seating for 18,000. The Beas River Country Club was the site of the cross-country phase of eventing, which was held on the golf course.


An Irish competitor in eventing at the Games

Hong Kong is known to have hot and humid weather with typhoons being common.[1] This includes a mean air temperature of 28.4 °C (83.1 °F) with 82% humidity, making it even more inclement than Athens (mean temperature of 27.6°C (81.6 °F), humidity 48%) and Atlanta (26 °C (78 °F), 75% humidity).

Some competitors made it clear that they believed that it would be unfair to work their horses in such weather. Swiss dressage rider Sylvia Ikle was one such rider,[2] and the Swiss decided not to send a dressage team because they would have had little chance of success without her.[3]

To combat the heat, the horses will be transported from the airport in Hong Kong to the stabling facilities in air-conditioned vans. The stables are all air-conditioned as well, at a temperature of 20 °C (68 °F). For the first time in history, there will also be an indoor arena for training that will also be air-conditioned. Misting fans will be placed under tents at both venues to cool off horses that have worked outside. There will also be vast quantities of ice water available. There is also a veterinary clinic on site, which can test the horses' urine several times to ensure they are all properly hydrated.

The cross-country course was also designed with a shorter, alternate route to be used if the heat and humidity warrant it. The show jumping will be held under lights at night to avoid the heat. The footing is made of high tensile fibers and quartz sand, which has a great ability to absorb water, so that any rain should have minimal effect on the footing used for dressage and show jumping competitions.


Denis Lynch and Latinus in show jumping

The show jumping courses (both Grand Prix and the eventing stadium phase) were designed by Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela and Steve Stephens of the USA. Michael Etherington-Smith of Great Britain designed the cross-country course.


More than 200 horses from 41 nations competed.

  • Dressage: 13 teams of 3 riders each, and 10 individuals.
  • Eventing: 5 riders per team, with only 3 scores counting.


  1. ^ Weather in Hong Kong: August, Hong Kong Fast Facts, accessed December 5, 2008
  2. ^ Silvia Ikle Not to Compete at the 2008 Olympic Games, January 9, 2008, Eurodressage, accessed December 5, 2008
  3. ^ Swiss Dressage Team Withdraws from Competing at the 2008 Olympics, January 8, 2008, Eurodressage, accessed December 5, 2008
  • Beijing 2008
  • Beijing 2008 Equestrian
  • Federation Equestre Internationale
  • FEI Official Competition Timetable

External links

  • Latest Equestrian News & Results from Beijing 2008
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