Read this write-up to learn all about the evolution of Equestrian - Dressage, its induction into the Olympics, the rules and regulations of the sport and some of the best Olympic performances.

Equestrian - Dressage

Equestrian sports were inducted into the Olympics program in 1900 during the Paris Summer Olympics that featured jumping events. After that it was dropped from the Olympics programme until 1912 when Dressage made its first appearance in Stockholm Olympics. Since 1912 Olympics, Dressage has undergone a radical transformation. In the modern editions of the Dressage, the horse no longer has to jump. Rather the test is on a flat arena which emphasizes on the piaffe and the passage. Though Dressage became an Olympics Sport in the 1912, only military officers were eligible to compete and it was predominantly a male sport. In 1952, the rules became lenient and both civilian men and women were allowed to compete and it became one of the very few Olympics sport in which men and women compete with each other on equal terms. From 1912 to 1924 Olympic Games, only individual medals were awarded. The team medals were introduced in afterward editions of the Olympics.

Equestrian - Dressage Rules And Regulations
  • In Equestrian Dressage, the horse and rider perform a series of movements known as a Dressage test. The tests are performed in a 60m long and 20m wide arena. The panel of seven judges award scores for individual movements and for the overall routine.
  • The team event consists of Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special rounds, and the individual event includes the Grand Prix, the Grand Prix Special, and the Grand Prix Freestyle. The team and individual events are conducted simultaneously. The score of a rider in a test counts in both events.
  • All the riders and horses perform the same tests in the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special rounds. After the completion of the Grand Prix Special round, the scores of all the riders are combined and the team with the highest score is awarded the medals in the team event. But the individual event goes on. 18 of the riders with the top scores in the Grand Prix Special qualify for the Grand Prix Freestyle. In Grand prix Freestyle round, the riders perform their own freestyle routines set to music. The scores in this round decide the winners of the individual competition.
Equestrian - Dressage History
Equestrian sport can be traced back to around 2,000 years. The Greeks devised a system of training to maneuver their horses during the wars. First documentation on the training on horses was done by a Greek military commander Xenophon, born around 430 BC. However, the word dressage owes its root to the French word "dresser," which means "to train." Since the Greek days, dressage has been evolving as the study horsemanship primarily for military purposes. The literature of the famous riding instructors and trainers helped to propagate classical dressage through ages. In 1572, with the establishment of Imperial Spanish Riding School in Vienna, classical dressage reached its culmination and the modern day practice is more or less based upon its principles.