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Equestrian at the 2012 Summer Olympics

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at the Games of the XXX Olympiad
Equestrian (Dressage), London 2012.png
Equestrian (Eventing), London 2012.png
Equestrian (Jumping), London 2012.png
Pictograms for Dressage (left), Eventing (center), and Jumping (right)
VenueGreenwich Park
51°28′49″N 0°00′11″W / 51.4803°N 0.0031°W / 51.4803; -0.0031Coordinates: 51°28′49″N 0°00′11″W / 51.4803°N 0.0031°W / 51.4803; -0.0031
Dates28 July – 9 August 2012
Competitors199 from 40 nations
← 2008
2016 →

The equestrian events at the 2012 Olympic Games in London were held between 28 July and 9 August at Greenwich Park. Medals were awarded in three disciplines for both individual and team competitions.[1]

Great Britain was the most successful nation, topping the medal table with three golds and five medals in total. They were particularly dominant in team events, taking two gold medals and a silver medal from three team events.


Greenwich Park hosted the equestrian events.
Greenwich Park hosted the equestrian events.

Medals were awarded in the following competitions:


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

Dressage qualification

For the team competition there was a total of 11 quota berths available. Three team berths were awarded at the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games. In addition 7 team berths were awarded at regional competitions (Europe: 3, America: 2, Asia: 2). In addition, should a country have qualified 3 athletes in the individual competition, they also qualify as a team and were allowed to compete in the team competition.[2]

For the individual competition, 50 berths were allocated as follows: 33 to the athletes who qualified from the teams above. In addition, the highest ranked rider from each of seven geographic regions qualified. The top ten riders based on FEI ranking who did not qualify otherwise were given berths as well.[2]

Jumping qualification

A country may send up to four riders if it qualified for the team competition. Similar to dressage, teams of four riders were qualified at either the World Equestrian Games (WEG) or through a regional competition. The WEG awarded five berths, the regions six (America: two, Europe: two, Asia: two), and the hosts (Great Britain). For the individual competition there was a total of 75 berths allocated as follows: 45 from the above teams the rest regional or through rankings.[2]

Eventing qualification

A country may send up to five riders if it qualified for the team competition. Similar to dressage, teams of five riders were qualified at either the WEG, a regional competition, or through a composite spot. The WEG awarded five berths, the regions seven (America: three, Europe: three, Middle East & Africa: one), the hosts (Great Britain). For the individual competition there was a total of 75 berths allocated as follows: 55 from the above teams, 7 through regional competitions and 13 through the world rankings.[2]

Competition format

Show jumping

Five rounds are ridden to determine individual medals. Riders placing first through 60th (including ties for 60th place) advance to the second round. The top 45 riders of round 2, including ties for 45th, advance to the third round. The top 35 riders of the third round progress to the 4th round, but only up to three riders per team (so if a country has four riders in the top 35, one of those is not allowed to compete for individual medals).

In the fourth round (individual final round A), the slate is wiped clean and all riders begin with zero faults. The top 20 riders in round 4 advance to round 5 (individual final round B), and ride another course. The faults for individual final round A and B and added together to determine individual medals.

The team competition completes three rounds to determine medals. It runs concurrently with the individual competition (riders running over the same course) so team riders are also competing for individual medals. The first round for team competition is the round 2 course for individual medals. The top eight teams from the first team round advance to the second team round (which is the same course as the individual round 3). The scores for these eight countries over team rounds 1 and 2 are combined, and medals are awarded based on those scores.

The dressage Grand Prix Special competition in the equestrian stadium at Greenwich Park.
The dressage Grand Prix Special competition in the equestrian stadium at Greenwich Park.


Nicola Wilson and Opposition Buzz competing in the cross-country discipline of the eventing
Nicola Wilson and Opposition Buzz competing in the cross-country discipline of the eventing

Teams are made up of three riders, all of whom are also competing concurrently for individual medals. Additionally, countries who can not make a full team may send riders to compete for individual medals.

All riders compete in the Grand Prix, which serves as the first round of both the individual and team medals. The top seven teams (included those tied for 7th) advance to the Grand Prix Special, which is a slightly more rigorous test. The combined scores for those teams in both the Grand Prix and the Special determine the team medals, with the team with the highest score winning gold.

Riders completing the Grand Prix test (first qualifying round of the individual competition) may move on to the Grand Prix Special (second qualifying round for the individual competition) if their team is in the top seven (21 riders total). Additionally, the top 11 riders who do not qualify with a team may also advance to the Special to ride for individual medals. The top 18 riders from the Special move on to the third individual round, the freestyle. Each rider designs their own test for the freestyle, which must be set to music and has several compulsory movements. Riders can tailor a test to their horses' strengths, as well as incorporate movements that are more difficult than those required in the Grand Prix or the Special (such as a pirouette in piaffe) in order to increase their scores. Individual medals are assigned based on scores in the freestyle.


Competitions for team and individual medals ran concurrently. Riders performed a dressage test, a cross-country round, and a jumping round. Team medals were then awarded by adding together the best three scores from a country's team, out of a maximum of five team members, from all three phases, the team with the lowest number of penalty points winning the gold. The top 25 individual scores after the first show jumping round performed a second, final, show jumping round to determine individual medals, with up to 3 riders in the individual running per team. Therefore, those competing for individual berths completed one dressage test and cross-country round, and two jumping rounds.


Appointment of officials was as follows:[3]

  • United Kingdom Stephen Clarke (Ground Jury President)
  • France Jean-Michel Roudier (Ground Jury Member)
  • Netherlands Wim Ernes (Ground Jury Member)
  • Denmark Leif Törnblad (Ground Jury Member)
  • United States Gary Rockwell (Ground Jury Member)
  • Germany Evi Eisenhardt (Ground Jury Member)
  • Mexico Maribel Alonso de Quinzanos (Ground Jury Member)
  • Poland Wojtek Markowski (FEI Technical Delegate)
  • Germany Stephan Ellenbruch (Ground Jury President)
  • Canada Kim Morrison (Ground Jury Member)
  • United Kingdom Jon Doney (Ground Jury Member)
  • Belgium Freddy Smeets (Ground Jury Member)
  • Denmark Anne-Mette Binder (Ground Jury President)
  • United Kingdom Nick Burton (Ground Jury Member)
  • Australia Gillian Rolton (Ground Jury Member)
  • United Kingdom Jon Doney (Jumping Judge)
  • Germany Martin Plewa (FEI Technical Delegate)
  • Brazil Ataíde Pereira Barcelos (FEI Technical Delegate assistant)

Medal summary

Medal table

1 Great Britain3115
2 Germany2114
3 Switzerland1001
4 Netherlands0314
5 Sweden0101
6 Ireland0011
 New Zealand0011
 Saudi Arabia0011
Totals (8 entries)66618


Games Gold Silver Bronze
Individual dressage
 Charlotte Dujardin
on Valegro (GBR)
 Adelinde Cornelissen
on Parzival (NED)
 Laura Bechtolsheimer
on Mistral Hojris (GBR)
Team dressage
 Great Britain (GBR)
Carl Hester
on Uthopia
Laura Bechtolsheimer
on Mistral Hojris
Charlotte Dujardin
on Valegro
 Germany (GER)
Dorothee Schneider
on Diva Royal
Kristina Sprehe
on Desperados
Helen Langehanenberg
on Damon Hill
 Netherlands (NED)
Anky van Grunsven
on Salinero
Edward Gal
on Undercover
Adelinde Cornelissen
on Parzival
Individual eventing
 Michael Jung
on Sam (GER)
 Sara Algotsson Ostholt
on Wega (SWE)
 Sandra Auffarth
on Opgun Louvo (GER)
Team eventing
 Germany (GER)
Peter Thomsen
on Barny
Dirk Schrade
on King Artus
Ingrid Klimke
on Butts Abraxxas
Sandra Auffarth
on Opgun Louvo
Michael Jung
on Sam
 Great Britain (GBR)
Nicola Wilson
on Opposition Buzz
Mary King
on Imperial Cavalier
Zara Phillips
on High Kingdom
Kristina Cook
on Miners Frolic
William Fox-Pitt
on Lionheart
 New Zealand (NZL)
Jonelle Richards
on Flintstar
Jonathan Paget
on Clifton Promise
Caroline Powell
on Lenamore
Andrew Nicholson
on Nereo
Mark Todd
on Campino
Individual jumping
 Steve Guerdat
on Nino Des Buissonets (SUI)
 Gerco Schröder
on London (NED)
 Cian O'Connor
on Blue Loyd 12 (IRL)
Team jumping
 Great Britain (GBR)
Scott Brash
on Hello Sanctos
Peter Charles
on Vindicat
Ben Maher
on Tripple X
Nick Skelton
on Big Star
 Netherlands (NED)
Marc Houtzager
on Tamino
Gerco Schröder
on London
Maikel van der Vleuten
on Verdi
Jur Vrieling
on Bubalu
 Saudi Arabia (KSA)
Ramzy Al Duhami
on Bayard Van the Villa There
Abdullah bin Mutaib Al Saud
on Davos
Kamal Bahamdan
on Noblesse Des Tess
Abdullah Waleed Sharbatly
on Sultan


Gallery of some of the gold medalists in the equestrian events:


  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Equestrianism at the 2012 London Equestrian Games". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 11 August 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "London 2012 Olympics qualifying: Equestrian". BBC Sport. 4 January 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  3. ^

Media related to Equestrian sports at the 2012 Summer Olympics at Wikimedia Commons

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Equestrian at the 2012 Summer Olympics
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