Equestrian at the 1976 Summer Olympics

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The Equestrian Events at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal included Show Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. All three disciplines, except for the Nations Cup, were held at the equestrian stadium in Bromont, which had a capacity of 15,000 spectators, and the cross-country and steeplechase were also nearby. Building this stadium provided some headache for the Organizing Committee after the original estimate of 1 million Canadian dollars increased to CAD 4,425.

Poland and Chile were not allowed to ship horses into the host country due to the concern of Piroplasmosis, and France and Italy also had to keep some horses home due to veterinary regulations. Overall 23 nations competed: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Denmark, France, Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), Great Britain, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, and the USA, with the Montreal Games being the first for Guatemala and Puerto Rico in equestrian events.

The 1976 Olympics was also the first Games with a disqualification due to a positive equine drug test, after San Carlos, ridden by Ronald McMahon of Ireland, received treatment following an injury during transport. Although the treatment was needed, the rules did not allow for him to compete.

Equestrian

Disciplines[edit]

Show jumping[edit]

Tom Gayford, assisted by Robert Jolicoeur, built the massive courses ridden by 61 riders from 20 countries. All courses were to be ridden at 400 m/min, and had 15 obstacles with 18 jumping efforts, including a 5m water. Round A, 950 meters in length, had verticals up to 1.60 meters and a 2.20 meter wide oxer with a 1.55 meter front rail and a back rail at 1.60 meters. Round B (660 meters) had a narrow 1.70 meter vertical, and the oxers were also raised in height. The final jump off was 470 meters long. Only 39-year-old Alwin Schockemöhle was able to pull off two clear rounds to win gold. The next three highest placed riders had 12 penalties apiece, and they had to jump off for silver and bronze.

The Nations Cup was held in the Olympic Stadium in front of 55,000 spectators, despite a great debate to move it to Bromont after intense rain. However, course dimensions were reduced. Alwin Schockemöhle managed to complete the 2 Nations Cup courses with 4 and 8 penalties respectively, helping Germany finish with team silver.

To watch the show jumping, see [1].

Dressage[edit]

The 10 minute Grand Prix dressage test was ridden by 27 riders from 11 nations. The Grand Prix awarded up to 500 points per judge--2500 points total--with Christine Stückelberger winning the test on Granat with 1869 points (74.7%). The top 12 riders from the Grand Prix competed in a second test, the Grand Prix Special. The Special, with an 8 minute 45 second time allowed, was also won by Granat with 1486 out of 1950 possible points (76.2%), earning Stückelberger the individual gold medal. They finished 51 points ahead of silver medal winner Harry Boldt and Woycek, who was 40 points ahead of the bronze medal winners, Reiner Klimke riding Mehmed.

To see Stückelberger's Grand Prix Special ride: [2]

The favorites for the team competition were Germany, Switzerland, and the Soviet Union to medal, but the US managed to clinch the bronze ahead of the USSR for their first dressage medal since the 1948 Games.

Eventing[edit]

49 riders from 13 countries competed, including Princess Anne from Great Britain, becoming the first member of the British Royal Family to have participated in the Olympic games. There were also several sets of family members: Guatemala had a mother and daughter pair competing on their team (Rita and Silva de Luna), while Australia had a father and son (Bill and Wayne Roycroft). The cross-country course designer, Barbara Kemp, was the first woman to design an Olympic equestrian course. It wouldn't be until 1996 when show jumping would have its first woman course designer with Linda Allen. The endurance day track was 27,465 meters in length, of which 7,695 meters was a 36-obstacle cross-country course. The track was very varied, traveling over meadows (2300 meters), gravel roads (1300 meters), through the woods (900 meters) as well as a manicured golf course (3200 meters).

To see a video of the eventing competition at the 1976 Games, see [3]

Medal summary[edit]

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Individual dressage
details
 Christine Stückelberger and Granat
Switzerland (SUI)
 Harry Boldt and Woycek
West Germany (FRG)
 Reiner Klimke and Mehmed
West Germany (FRG)
Team dressage
details
 West Germany (FRG)
Harry Boldt and Woycek
Reiner Klimke and Mehmed
Gabriela Grillo and Ultimo
 Switzerland (SUI)
Christine Stückelberger and Granat
Ulrich Lehmann and Widin
Doris Ramseier and Roch
 United States (USA)
Hilda Gurney and Keen
Dorothy Morkis and Monaco
Edith Master and Dahlwitz
Individual eventing
details
 Edmund Coffin and Bally-Cor
United States (USA)
 Michael Plumb and Better & Better
United States (USA)
 Karl Schultz and Madrigal
West Germany (FRG)
Team eventing
details
 United States (USA)
Edmund Coffin and Bally-Cor
Michael Plumb and Better & Better
Bruce Davidson and Irish-Cap
Mary Anne Tauskey and Marcus Aurelius
 West Germany (FRG)
Karl Schultz and Madrigal
Herbert Blöcker and Albrant
Helmut Rethemeier and Pauline
Otto Ammermann and Volturno
 Australia (AUS)
Wayne Roycroft and Laurenson
Mervyn Bennet and Regal Reign
Bill Roycroft and Version
Denis Pigott and Hillstead
Individual jumping
details
 Alwin Schockemöhle and Warwick Rex
West Germany (FRG)
 Michel Vaillancourt and Branch Country
Canada (CAN)
 François Mathy and Gai Luron
Belgium (BEL)
Team jumping
details
 France (FRA)
Hubert Parot and Rivage
Jean-Marcel Rozier and Bayard de Maupas
Marc Roguet and Belle de Mars
Michel Roche and Un Espoir
 West Germany (FRG)
Alwin Schockemöhle and Warwick Rex
Hans Günter Winkler and Torphy
Sönke Sönksen and Kwepe
Paul Schockemöhle and Agent
 Belgium (BEL)
Eric Wauters and Gute Sitte
François Mathy and Gai Luron
Edgar-Henri Cuepper and Le Champion
Stanny Van Paesschen and Porsche

Participating nations[edit]

In the 1976 Summer Olympics, 135 contestants, including 111 men and 24 women, competed from 23 countries. The youngest participant was Silvia de Luna from Guatemala at 18 years old, while the oldest rider was the Australian Bill Roycroft at 61 years old.[1]

Medal table[edit]

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  West Germany (FRG) 2 3 2 7
2  United States (USA) 2 1 1 4
3  Switzerland (SUI) 1 1 0 2
4  France (FRA) 1 0 0 1
5  Canada (CAN) 0 1 0 1
6  Belgium (BEL) 0 0 2 2
7  Australia (AUS) 0 0 1 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ Equestrianism at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games, Sports Reference, retrieved February 27, 2011