Equestrian at the 2008 Summer Olympics

at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad
Pictogram for equestrian at the 2008 Olympic Games
VenueHong Kong Sports Institute
Dates9–21 August
Equestrian at the
2008 Summer Olympics
Dressage individual team
Eventing individual team
Jumping individual team

Equestrian competitions at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics were held from 9 August to 21 August 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:


For more details on this topic, see Equestrian at the 2008 Summer Olympics - Qualification.

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.

Competition schedule

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

Date Start Finish Event Stage
Saturday, 9 August 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, 10 August 2008 06:30 10:30 Eventing Team Dressage (Day 2)
Eventing Individual Dressage (Day 2)
Monday, 11 August 2008 08:00 11:30 Eventing Team Cross Country (held at Beas River)
Eventing Individual Cross Country (held at Beas River)
Tuesday, 12 August 2008 19:15 22:15 Eventing Team Jumping (Final)
Eventing Individual Jumping (Qualifier)
22:30 23:30 Eventing Individual Jumping (Final)
Wednesday, 13 August 2008 19:15 24:15 Dressage Team Grand Prix (Day 1)
Dressage Individual Grand Prix 1st Qualifier (Day 1)
Thursday, 14 August 2008 19:15 23:45 Dressage Individual Grand Prix 1st Qualifier (Day 2)
Dressage Team Grand Prix (Day 2)
Friday, 15 August 2008 19:15 23:15 Jumping Individual 1st Qualifier
Saturday, 16 August 2008 19:15 24:00 Dressage Individual Grand Prix Special 2nd Qualifier
Sunday, 17 August 2008 19:15 23:15 Jumping Team Final Round 1
Jumping Individual 2nd Qualifier
Monday, 18 August 2008 19:15 22:15 Jumping Team Final Round 2
Jumping Individual 3rd Qualifier
Tuesday, 19 August 2008 19:15 22:15 Dressage Individual Grand Prix Freestyle
Thursday, 21 August 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
Isabell Werth on Satchmo
Heike Kemmer on Bonaparte
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 eventing
Hinrich Romeike on Marius
Gina Miles on McKinlaigh
 United States
Kristina Cook on Miners Frolic
 Great Britain
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
Individual jumping
Eric Lamaze on Hickstead
Rolf-Göran Bengtsson on Ninja
Beezie Madden on Authentic
 United States
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


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 were 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 was also an indoor arena for training that was also air-conditioned. Misting fans were placed under tents at both venues to cool off horses that worked outside. There were also vast quantities of ice water available. There was a veterinary clinic on site, which tested the horses' urine several times to ensure they were all properly hydrated.

The cross-country course was also designed with a shorter, alternate route to be used if the heat and humidity warranted it. The show jumping was 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.


  1. Weather in Hong Kong: August, Hong Kong Fast Facts, accessed 5 December 2008
  2. Silvia Ikle Not to Compete at the 2008 Olympic Games, 9 January 2008, Eurodressage, accessed 5 December 2008
  3. Swiss Dressage Team Withdraws from Competing at the 2008 Olympics, 8 January 2008, Eurodressage, accessed 5 December 2008
Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2008 Olympic Games equestrian.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.