Paris Olympics: dressage

Welcome to Horse & Hound’s coverage of the dressage competitions at the Paris Olympics. Our expert team of equestrian journalists and photographers, both on location at the Palace of Versailles and working from the UK, are poised and ready to keep you up to date with all the latest Olympic dressage news as it happens.

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Dates:   30-31 July & 3-4 August
Venue:   Palace of Versailles
Teams:   Three riders per team – 15 teams
Individuals:   15 individuals, plus all team riders – total 60
Phases:   Grand prix, grand prix special, grand prix freestyle
Medals:   Team 3 August; individual 4 August

Olympic dressage news

Olympic dressage: meet the British team horses

The British eventing team for the Olympics has been revealed – find out more about the horses heading to Paris

Olympic dressage in Paris: what you need to know

Who will be on the Olympic dressage teams?

The riders have been selected for the Paris Olympic dressage teams, including the British Olympic dressage team, along with the alternate combinations who will be in Paris on standby ready to compete in certain circumstances.

Who is likely to win a medal?

The dressage format at the Paris Games will be the same as in Tokyo, with the grand prix special test being used to decide the Olympic dressage team medals. The individual medals will be awarded after the freestyle.

With 15 teams of three riders taking part, Germany, Britain and Denmark are most likely to be fighting it out for team medals, with Sweden and the Netherlands and the USA also expected to be in the running.

Does Britain have a good chance of winning a medal?

Yes, Great Britain has a good chance to win both team and individual medals in the Olympic dressage competition.

What’s the Olympic dressage competition format?

The Olympic dressage competition comprises the grand prix, grand prix special and grand prix freestyle to music. The grand prix acts solely as a qualifier for the special and the freestyle. The team medals will be awarded based on the results of the grand prix special. The freestyle will decide the individual medals.

How many riders in an Olympic dressage team?

There will be three horse and rider combinations in each team with all scores to count, plus one reserve (alternate) who can be substituted in on veterinary or medical grounds up until two hours before the team final — which is the grand prix special.

Who will be judging the Olympic dressage in Paris?

The seven dressage judges at the Paris Olympics are:
• Raphael Saleh (FRA) - president of the ground jury
• Henning Lehrmann (GER)
• Isobel Wessels (GBR)
• Mariette Sanders (NED)
• Magnus Ringmark (SWE)
• Michael Osinski (USA)
• Susanne Baarup (DEN)

Who are the other dressage officials in Paris?

Italy’s Vincenzo Truppa is the technical delegate with Britain’s Dan Chapman as chief dressage steward and Belgium’s Didier Deschauwer as dressage steward. The overall chief steward is Cesar Hirsch from Venezuela.

The three members of the judging supervisory panel members are Britain’s Andrew Gardner, Mary Seefried of Australia, and Henk van Bergen from the Netherlands.

The first reserve judge is Austria’s Thomas Lang and the second reserve is Maria Colliander from Finland.

Essential reading

• H&H’s beginners’ guide: what is dressage at the Olympics
• H&H’s expert guide to the Olympic dressage format

Who won the Olympic dressage medals in Tokyo 2020?

Team gold: Germany
Team silver: United States
Team bronze: Great Britain

Individual gold: Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (GER)
Individual silver: Isabell Werth (GER)
Individual bronze: Charlotte Dujardin (GBR)

When did dressage become an Olympic sport?

Dressage was first seen in the Olympics in the 1912 Games in Stockholm with only men allowed to compete. This restriction was lifted in 1951 and the Helsinki Games in 1952 was the first to see women in the saddle. Denmark’s Lis Hartel became the first female Olympic equestrian and the first female medalist winning individual silver. Her achievement was all the more impressive because she was paralysed from the knee down as a result of contracting polio.