London Olympics Dressage Competition Format

Some of you have asked how the dressage competition works at the London Olympics.  Here is a bit of information about how the individual and team dressage events work:

The Venue

Greenwich Park is London’s oldest Royal Park, dating back to 1433, and is part of the Greenwich World Heritage site.

Covering 74 hectares (183 acres) and located just 20 minutes from central London, the park offers magnificent views across the River Thames to St Paul’s Cathedral and beyond.  It was a former Royal Naval College and is now home to the National Maritime Museum.  The arena has been specially constructed, held off the ground by about 2000 cement posts, to protect the park.  After the Olympics the arena will be dismantled completely.

The basics

The  Dressage tests are performed before a panel of seven judges, who award scores for individual movements and for the overall routine.

The Dressage competition consists of a Team event (made up of three athletes/horses), which includes the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special rounds; and an Individual event, which includes the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special as qualifiers for the Grand Prix Freestyle (the competition that decides the final Individual classification). The Team and Individual events are conducted simultaneously: a rider’s score in a test will be relevant for both events.

Competition format

After the first phase, the Grand Prix, the best seven teams (including any teams tied for seventh place) and the best 11 individuals (including any tied for 11th place) who are not already qualified as team members, progress to the next phase, the Grand Prix Special.

The Team event medals are decided by the total of the scores in the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special.

After the Grand Prix Special, the best 18 individuals (including any tied for 18th place) go through to the Grand Prix Freestyle. Riders are selected to go through on the basis of their performance in the Grand Prix Special only.

Performance in the Grand Prix Freestyle determines the medals in the Individual event.

For a complete set of rules for all equestrian events at the Olympics you should go to the FEI’s link here: International Equestrian Federation (FEI).  As you will know the FEI is the governing body for the sport.

Program for the Olympic Dressage

2nd and 3rd August – Grand Prix

7th August – Grand Prix Special

9th August – Grand Prix Freestyle

That’s the best I can explain it. 🙂 A little confusing I know but I hope this helps!

Go Aussies Go!


1 thought on “London Olympics Dressage Competition Format

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s