9 Olympic showjumping facts to impress your friends with at the pub

  • The Olympic showjumping kicks off in Rio on Sunday 14 August, so now is the time to start swotting up if you want to impress your friends down the pub with some mindblowing facts and figures about the great event. We bring you nine weird and wonderful stats to get you going…

    1. No showjumper has ever claimed back-to-back individual gold medals. The reigning champion Steve Guerdat (pictured) of Switzerland hopes to make history in Rio by defending his title – on the same “freak of a horse” that carried him to victory in London 2012, 15-year-old Nino Des Buissonnets.

    2. It is 32 years since brothers John and Michael Whitaker last won an Olympic team medal together in Los Angeles in 1984.

    3. Amazingly, the six previous Olympic individual gold medalists are all heading to Rio – Ludger Beerbaum of Germany (won gold in Barcelona 1992), Ulrich Kirchhoff, now of Ukraine but previously of Germany (Atlanta 1996), Jeroen Dubbeldam of the Netherlands (Sydney 2000), Rodrigo Pessoa is reserve rider for Brazil (Athens 2004), Eric Lamaze of Canada (Beijing 2008) and Steve Guerdat for Switzerland (London 2012).

    4. There are 75 combinations of horse and rider from 27 nations competing for individual honours in Rio, with 15 countries fighting it out for team honours.

    5. West Germany’s Hans Gunter Winkler holds the record for the most Olympic showjumping medals with seven to his name.

    6. It is 44 years since Great Britain last won an individual medal at the Olympics, thanks to Anne Moore and Psalm winning silver in Munich, but a Brit has yet to win gold.

    7. Germany has won the most showjumping titles – five individual and eight team.

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    8. No female rider has ever won an individual gold medal in showjumping. Two riders from Great Britain have come closest – Marion Coakes at Mexico City in 1969 when she won silver with Stroller, and Anne Moore with Psalm in Munich in 1972.

    9. Showjumping was first introduced at the Olympics in 1900, when Aime Haegeman of Belgium took gold on Benton II in Paris.

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