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Equestrian events at the 1956 Summer Olympics

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at the Games of the XVI Olympiad
VenueStockholm Olympic Stadium
Dates11–17 June 1956
No. of events6
Competitors158 from 29 nations
← 1952
1960 →

The equestrian events at the 1956 Summer Olympics were held in Stockholm due to the Australian quarantine regulations and included dressage, eventing, and show jumping. All three disciplines had both individual and team competitions. The competitions were held from 11 to 17 June 1956 at Stockholm Olympic Stadium. There were 158 entries from 29 National Olympic Committees: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Soviet Union, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, USA and Venezuela. This would be the first appearance for Australia, Cambodia and Venezuela in equestrian events.[1]

Although Melbourne was awarded the 1956 Olympic Games, Australia had a strict six-month pre-shipment quarantine on horses. A meeting in 1953 by Australian federal authorities ruled that they would not change the quarantine laws for the Olympic horses. Therefore, the equestrian competition would not be able to be held in Australia. In 1954, the IOC selected Stockholm, Sweden as the alternate venue for the equestrian events. Therefore, the equestrian events were not only separated by city or country, but also continent, with the equestrian event being held in June (summer in the Northern Hemisphere) and the other sports held in November (late spring in the Southern Hemisphere).


Show jumping[edit]

A total of 66 riders from 24 countries contested the difficult Greger Lewnhaupt-designed course, which no one was able to ride clear in the first round. Considered the first modern course in Olympic history, it was 775 meters in length, to be ridden at 400m/min, with 14 obstacles and 17 jumping efforts. The gold medal was awarded to Hans Günter Winkler of the Federal Republic of Germany, on his great mare Halla. He finished the first round with 4 faults, after landing heavily after an early takeoff by his mount, resulting in a pulled groin muscle. Knowing that withdrawal from the final round would result in his country's elimination, Winkler rode in the second round, and managed to complete it faultlessly. Winkler would go on to be one of the most medal-winning riders in Olympic history, with 7 medals to his name.


36 riders, 11 of which were women, from 17 nations competed in dressage. Of those 11 women, 2 won an individual medal (including previous silver medalist Lis Hartel) and another placed in the top 10. There was controversy in the judging, since judges tended to have their own opinions of what was considered correct training and riding, and at the time there was no common ideal for dressage. The German and Swedish judges favored their own countrymen, and ended up being suspended by the FEI. Following this controversy, the IOC threatened to remove dressage from the Olympics. The FEI and IOC came to a compromise, resulting in only individual competitors being allowed at the 1960 Games, with up to 2 riders per country.


Medal summary[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
Individual dressage
 Henri Saint Cyr
and Juli (SWE)
 Lis Hartel
and Jubilee (DEN)
 Liselott Linsenhoff
and Adular (EUA)
Team dressage
 Sweden (SWE)
Henri Saint Cyr
and Juli
Gehnäll Persson
and Knaust
Gustaf Adolf Boltenstern Jr.
and Krest
 United Team of Germany (EUA)
Liselott Linsenhoff
and Adular
Hannelore Weygand
and Perkunos
Anneliese Küppers
and Afrika
 Switzerland (SUI)
Gottfried Trachsel
and Kursus
Henri Chammartin
and Wöhler
Gustav Fischer
and Vasello
Individual eventing
 Petrus Kastenman
and Iluster (SWE)
 August Lütke-Westhues
and Trux von Kamax (EUA)
 Francis Weldon
and Kilbarry (GBR)
Team eventing
 Great Britain (GBR)
Francis Weldon
and Kilbarry
Arthur Rook
and Wild Venture
Bertie Hill
and Countryman III
 United Team of Germany (EUA)
August Lütke-Westhues
and Trux von Kamax
Otto Rothe
and Sissi
Klaus Wagner
and Prinzeß
 Canada (CAN)
John Rumble
and Cilroy
Jim Elder
and Colleen
Brian Herbinson
and Tara
Individual jumping
 Hans Günter Winkler
and Halla (EUA)
 Raimondo D'Inzeo
and Merano (ITA)
 Piero D'Inzeo
and Uruguay (ITA)
Team jumping
 United Team of Germany (EUA)
Hans Günter Winkler
and Halla
Fritz Thiedemann
and Meteor
Alfons Lütke-Westhues
and Ala
 Italy (ITA)
Raimondo D'Inzeo
and Merano
Piero D'Inzeo
and Uruguay
Salvatore Oppes
and Pagoro
 Great Britain (GBR)
Wilfred White
and Nizefela
Pat Smythe
and Flanagan
Peter Robeson
and Scorchin

Participating nations[edit]

A total of 29 nations competed in Stockholm.

Five nations competed in the equestrian events in Stockholm, but did not attend the Games in Melbourne:

Egypt and Cambodia did not compete in Melbourne due to the Suez Crisis, whilst Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland all boycotted the Australian event in protest at the Soviet invasion of Hungary.[2]

Medal table[edit]

  *   Host nation (Sweden)

1 Sweden (SWE)*3003
2 United Team of Germany (EUA)2316
3 Great Britain (GBR)1023
4 Italy (ITA)0213
5 Denmark (DEN)0101
6 Canada (CAN)0011
 Switzerland (SUI)0011
Totals (7 entries)66618

  *   Host nation (Sweden)


Appointment of officials was as follows:[3]

  • Belgium Gaston de Trannoy (Ground Jury President)
  • Germany Gen. Berger (Ground Jury Member)
  • Sweden Sven Colliander (Ground Jury Member)
  • Chile Eduardo Yanez (Ground Jury Member)
  • Denmark Col. Fog (Ground Jury Member)
  • Spain José M. Cavanillas (Ground Jury President)
  • France Pierre Clavé (Ground Jury Member)
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Col. Djerasimovic (Ground Jury Member)
  • Italy Bruno Bruni (Ground Jury Member)
  • United Kingdom Philip Bowden-Smith (Ground Jury Member)
  • Sweden Greger Lewenhaupt (Course Designer)
  • Netherlands Alex Pantschoulidzev (Technical Delegate)
  • Italy Ranieri di Campello (Ground Jury President)
  • Austria Arthur Kalita (Ground Jury Member)
  • United Kingdom V.D.S. Williams (Ground Jury Member)
  • Spain José M. Cavanillas (Ground Jury Member)
  • Norway Arne Kristensen (Ground Jury Member)
  • Finland Björn Strandell (Course Designer)
  • Belgium Pierre Beauduin (Technical Delegate)


  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Equestrianism at the 1956 Stockholm Equestrian Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  2. ^ 1956 Games (see All Facts section) olympic.org
  3. ^ "Olympic Games 1956 | FEI.org".

External links[edit]