Dressage horses put their best hoof forward to get Olympic Equestrian events underway

The dressage events of the Tokyo Olympics are officially underway, with the first trot-up held in Tokyo. Images: Libby Law

Charlotte Dujardin presents Gio

Carl Hester presents En Vogue
Carl Hester’s En Vogue and Charlotte Dujardin’s Gio have a bit of a scratch after the 1st Horse Inspection
Edward Gal presents Total US
Isabell Werth presents Bella Rose

The dressage horse inspection took place this morning at Baji Koen Equestrian Park, and from the 72 listed, a total of 70 horses were presented to the Ground Jury with two held over for further re-inspection tomorrow morning – the 14-year-old Hot Chocolat vd Kwaplas ridden by Isabelle Pinto for France and the 15-year-old grey gelding Sultao Menezes ridden by Portugal’s Carlos Pinto – coincidentally, the horses are ridden by a husband and wife who ride for different nations.

The Grand Prix is the Team and Individual qualifier and will take place over two days, tomorrow 24 July and Sunday 25 July. A draw took place after today’s horse inspection, and the 15 teams will go in the following order: Denmark, Japan, Australia, Great Britain, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Canada, ROC, Austria, Belgium, France, USA and Germany.


Athletes are drawn in six groups, with three groups per evening. A total of nine athlete/horse combinations will go in the first group that includes Australia’s Mary Hanna with Calanta and Great Britain’s Charlotte Fry with Everdale, with competition starting at 17:00.

The Netherlands’ Edward Gal will be first to go when the second 10-strong group take their turn at 18:36, and Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour and Bohemian will conclude this session. 

Rounding up the day will be another group of 10, with Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera last into the arena at 21.42. 

Another three groups of 10 will compete on Sunday to identify the top eight teams that will go through to Tuesday’s team medals decider, with world number one Isabell Werth last to go on the mare Bella Rose. And, for the individuals, the top 18 will going through to next Wednesday’s Freestyle for the individual medals.

Great praise

The top-class facilities at the Japan Racing Association owned Baji Koen, which include air-conditioned stabling, a stunning competition arena and beautiful training areas for the horses, have drawn great praise from the athletes who are now looking forward to superb sport over the coming days. 

Don’t miss a hoofbeat! Live results and start lists are available here: https://tokyo2020.live.fei.org/