Equestrian at the 2004 Summer Olympics
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
|Venue||Markopoulo Olympic Equestrian Centre|
|Dates||16–27 August 2004|
|Equestrian at the
2004 Summer Olympics
The events of the equestrian at the 2004 Summer Olympics featured three equestrian disciplines: dressage, eventing and jumping. All three disciplines are further divided into individual and team contests for a total of six events.
The Markopoulo Olympic Equestrian Centre, on the outskirts of Markopoulo in the Attica region of Greece, hosted the dressage and jumping events while the eventing took place in the nearby Eventing Park.
The dressage competition had 52 individual riders participate from 18 countries. 10 teams of 4 riders were fielded from Austria, Canada, Denmark, Spain, Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, the United States, and Switzerland. 2 riders were sent from Australia, France, Greece, and Russia as individuals. 1 rider was sent from Belarus, Colombia, Ireland, and New Zealand as an individual.
The eventing competition had 14 teams fielded from France, Great Britain, United States, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Brazil, Canada, Austria, and Poland.
The show jumping competition had 77 individual riders participate from 27 countries. 16 teams of 4 riders were fielded from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, and the United States. Britain and Saudi Arabia sent 2 riders to compete individually. Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Jordan, Poland, Puerto Rico, and Russia sent one rider as an individual.
|1||United States (USA)||1||2||2||5|
|3||Great Britain (GBR)||1||1||1||3|
Equestrian events took place over 14 days, from 14 August to 27 August. Eventing was held on the first five days, while the other two disciplines overlapped for most of the rest of the schedule.
- 14 August
- Eventing - first horse inspection
- 15 August
- Eventing - dressage
- 16 August
- Eventing - dressage
- 17 August
- Eventing - cross country
- 18 August
- Eventing - second horse inspection
- Eventing - first round of jumping (used for team jumping portion and individual qualification)
- Eventing - individual jumping final
- 19 August
- Dressage - horse inspection
- Jumping - training
- 20 August
- Dressage - grand prix
- Jumping - first horse inspection
- 21 August
- Dressage - grand prix
- 22 August
- Jumping - first qualifier
- 23 August
- Dressage - grand prix special
- 24 August
- Jumping - second qualifier (first team round)
- Jumping - third qualifier (second team round)
- Jumping - team jump-off
- 25 August
- Dressage - grand prix freestyle
- 26 August
- Jumping - second horse inspection
- 27 August
- Jumping - final round A
- Jumping - final round B
- Jumping - jump-off
The equestrian events were marred by medal controversies in both the show jumping and the eventing competitions, which resulted in a shuffling of the medals and changing of the overall placings.
The first controversy occurred in the stadium jumping phase of the eventing competition, after German rider Bettina Hoy accidentally crossed the start flags twice. She initially crossed it in her warm-up circle, and continued around the course unaware, as the clock was restarted for her second pass around. The ground jury realized the mistake of restarting the clock, and gave Hoy the 14 time penalties she would have received had her time started with the first pass between the start flags. This dropped both Hoy and her German team, who were poised for individual and team gold respectively, down in the standings, with the German team finishing just out of the medals in fourth place, and Hoy completing the individual competition in ninth.
The German team protested the decision, arguing that the clock had not turned on and had therefore placed Hoy at a disadvantage as she did not know her true time. If she had known she could have ridden faster and even with more risk, because Germany's team was in clear lead and would have taken gold even with a mistake by her. The technical appeal committee accepted the Germans' case, and 70 minutes later the medals were reinstated. However, the French team filed a joint appeal with both the British and the American teams, and argued to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) that the technical committee should not have revoked the time penalties for Hoy’s score. The CAS agreed, announcing its decision the following Saturday.
The final decision moved Germany from first to fourth place. The French then took the team gold, followed by the British for team silver, and the Americans for team bronze. In the individual competition, Hoy dropped down out of the medals, with British rider Leslie Law winning gold, American Kimberly Severson claiming silver, and British rider Pippa Funnell as the individual bronze winner. The German clemency plea for awarding 2 gold medals for the team (and not officially counting it for the medal list) was also declined.
The show jumping competition had two separate redistributions of medals. The first occurred after Waterford Crystal, the mount of Ireland’s Cian O'Connor, tested positive for Zuclopenthixol (clopixol), Fluphenazine, Guanabenz and Reserpine. The FEI officially disqualified O’Connor on June 10, 2005, a decision that also led to the disqualification of the entire Irish show jumping team. After this announcement, Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil moved up to win individual gold, America’s Chris Kappler was awarded individual silver, and German rider Marco Kutscher was given bronze. The team medals, however, were not affected by this incident.
The second incident also involved a positive drug test, this time for the German horse Goldfever, who was ridden by Ludger Beerbaum. Most believe Beerbaum’s explanation that the illegal substance betamethasone was in an ointment used to treat a skin irritation on the horse, and the FEI Judicial Committee accepted that the substance was indeed for a medical condition and did not enhance the horse’s performance. However, even though Beerbaum did not purposefully try to enhance his horse’s performance, Goldfever did have a prohibited substance in his system, and was therefore disqualified. Beerbaum waived his right to appeal the decision.
Germany’s team gold medal was then given to the Americans, and the silver to the Swedish show jumping team. The Germans, however, were still able to take the bronze medal, even without Goldfever’s results.