European Dressage Championship
The European Dressage Championship are the European Championship for the equestrian discipline of dressage. They are now held every 2 years, in odd-numbered years. Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals are awarded in both an individual and team competition. There is also a Championship held for juniors, young riders, and ponies.
First time in 1963 an official European Dressage Championship was held. Before this time, beginning in the 1950s, the FEI has held one time each year the „FEI Grand Prix“. The winners of this events were referred to as European champions.
At the official first European Dressage Championship in 1963 it was possible to start with more than one horse - so each rider can win more than one individual medal. Today each rider can start only with one horse.
The history of team medals start at the European Dressage Championships in 1965. Two years before, only Great Britain and Romania start with three riders at the European Championships (three riders are necessary for a team). But the rules say that a minimum number of three teams has to start in the team competition - so no team medals were awarded in 1963. From 1963 to 2005, each European Dressage Championship team competition was won by the team of the Federal Republik of Germany. In 2007 the Dutch team win this competition.
Up to 1991 only one individual prize giving was held. In 1993 and 1995 two individual competitions was held—the Grand Prix Spécial and the Grand Prix Freestyle (also called Grand Prix Kür). The riders had to choose, in which of the two individual competitions they want start.
In 1997 the rules were changed again: The riders had to start in the Grand Prix de Dressage (the team competition), in the Grand Prix Spécial and the Grand Prix Freestyle. At the end of this competitions only one individual prize giving was held. Since 2005 the riders can win an individual in the Grand Prix Spécial and also in the Grand Prix Freestyle. A Rider who want to start in the Grand Prix Freestyle must start also in the Grand Prix Spécial.
In 2003 the European Dressage Championship was held as Open European Dressage Championship, but also a (closed) European Championship was calculated based on the result.