In 1912, three-day eventing was introduced as an Olympic sport, and since then U.S. eventing has earned a total of 77 different medals at the Olympics, World Equestrian Games, and Pan American Games. Out of the 77 medals, 31 are gold, 25 are silver, and 21 are bronze.
Take a walk down memory lane and learn about the many victories U.S. Eventing has had in the last 108 years.
1912 Stockholm Olympic Games
The 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games was the first time equestrian sport was introduced into the modern Olympic Games. The bronze medal at Stockholm marked the first medal earned in U.S. eventing history. The format of the 1912 three-day event included five phases that were held over four days: day one was roads and tracks and cross-country, day two was steeplechase, day three was show jumping, and day four ended with a 10-minute dressage test.
1924 Paris Olympic Games
1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games,
This was the first team gold medal won in U.S. eventing history.
1936 Berlin Olympic Games
Lt. Earl Thomson and Jenny Camp won two consecutive individual Olympic silver medals. Jenny Camp is one of only four horses who have won individual medals at consecutive Olympic Games, and the only U.S. horse to do so. The other three horses are: Marcoix ridden by Lt. Charles F. Pahud de Mortanges for the Netherlands, Charisma ridden by Mark Todd for New Zealand, and La Biosthetique Sam FBW ridden by Michael Jung for Germany.
1948 London Olympic Games
1952 Helsinki Olympic Games
The 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games were the first that allowed civilian men to compete in three-day eventing.
1955 Mexico City Pan American Games
1959 Chicago Pan American Games
The United States Eventing Association (USEA), formerly known as the United States Combined Training Association (USCTA), was formed during the 1959 Pan American Games in Chicago, Illinois. The meeting among founding members including Alexander Mackay-Smith and Captain John ‘Jack’ Fritz took place alongside the Pan American Games at Patrick Butler’s home in Oak Brook, Illinois.
1963 Pan American Games in Sao Paulo
Michael Page and Grasshopper won the individual gold medal at two consecutive Pan American Games (1959 and 1963).
1964 Tokyo Olympic Games
The 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games marked a milestone for three-day eventing, as it was the first Olympic three-day event in which women were allowed to compete. Dressage was the first equestrian sport to open to women at Helsinki in 1952, and show jumping allowed women at Stockholm in 1956. U.S. rider Lana DuPont on Mr. Wister was the first woman to ride in an Olympic eventing competition.
1967 Winnipeg Pan American Games
1968 Mexico City Olympic Games
1970 Punchestown World Championships
1972 Munich Olympic Games
Considered to be the ‘Golden Age of U.S. Eventing’, Jack Le Goff coached the U.S. Eventing team from 1970 to 1984 and earned 18 medals in international competition. The 1972 Munich Olympic Games was Jack Le Goff’s first U.S. team.
1974 Burghley World Championships
The 1974 Burghley World Championships was the first year a U.S. event rider won the World Championships – Bruce Davidson riding Irish Cap. Another standout athlete from this World Championships was Don Sachey’s horse, Plain Sailing, a veteran team horse who won five medals with three different riders. He won team gold and individual gold at the 1967 Pan American Games and team silver in the 1968 Olympic Games with J. Michael Plumb, team silver at the 1972 Olympic Games with Bruce Davidson, and team gold at the 1974 World Championships at Burghley with Don Sachey.
1975 Mexico City Pan American Games
1976 Montreal Olympic Games
The 1976 Montreal Olympic Games was the first Olympic Games where a U.S. event rider won the individual gold medal. There have only been two in U.S. eventing history – Tad Coffin on Bally Cor (1976) and David O’Connor on Custom Made (2000).
1978 Lexington World Championships
Bruce Davidson set a new record at the 1978 World Championships as he's the only rider to ever win back-to-back World Championship titles.
1980 Fontainebleau Alternative Olympic Games
Riding the 15.1 hand Pinto mare, Poltroon, Torrance Watkins became the first woman to win an individual Olympic medal in eventing.
1982 Luhmuhlen World Championships
1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games
At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, there were 48 horses in the eventing competition. Out of the 48 horses, the most common age for horses was 11 years old with 16 horses competing at the age of 11. There were four mares, two stallions, and the rest were geldings. This was also Jack Le Goff’s last time as chef d’equipe for the U.S.
1987 Indianapolis Pan American Games
1990 Stockholm World Equestrian Games
1994 The Hague World Equestrian Games
1995 Buenos Aires Pan American Games
1996 Atlanta Olympic Games
After Jack Le Goff retired from coaching, he served as a FEI judge at events around the world including the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
1998 Rome World Equestrian Games
1999 Winnipeg Pan American Games
2000 Sydney Olympic Games
At the 2000 Olympic Games, David O’Connor became the second and last U.S. event rider to win an individual gold medal.
2002 Jerez World Equestrian Games
2003 Pan American Games
The eventing portion of the 2003 Pan American Games, held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, was in fact held at the Fair Hill CCI3* due to logistical issues with the venue, Palmarejo Equestrian Center.
2004 Athens Olympic Games
The new format of three-day eventing, with the removal of roads and tracks and steeplechase, was first introduced at the 2004 Olympic Games.
2006 Aachen World Equestrian Games
2007 Rio de Janeiro Pan American Games
The 2007 Pan American Games was the first time in history that U.S. eventing brought home four different medals in an international competition - the maximum amount possible.
2008 Hong Kong Olympic Games
2011 Guadalajara Pan American Games
2015 Toronto Pan American Games
2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games
Phillip Dutton has earned six medals for the U.S. and Australia, but the 2016 Rio Olympic Games was the first time he earned an individual Olympic medal.
2019 Lima Pan American Games
The full medal history of the United States Equestrian Team can be found here.
The FEI has announced that the Swiss horse Jet Set, ridden by Robin Godel has had to be euthanized after pulling up extremely lame on the Sea Forest Cross Country Course during Equestrian Eventing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on August 1, 2021.
In 2002, at the age of 15, I was at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Maine while Tremaine Cooper was there building some cross-country jumps. I helped him build a trakehner, not realizing that this day would set the course for my future. A few weeks later he called asking if I could help him at Millbrook Horse Trials. From there I helped Tremaine during most of my school vacations and throughout the summers. After graduating high school I kept at it never looking back. I lived the gypsy lifestyle for about six years going from coast to coast and event to event. In 2013 my wife Kathryn and I settled down in Lexington, Kentucky. These days I spend roughly 60-75 percent of my time on the road preparing events or building private schooling areas. I’ve had the privilege of being involved with some really great events around the states and have cultivated many friendships all over the country. In 2019 I was asked to be a part of Team Evans Olympic cross-country building crew. As I write this I am on my third trip to Tokyo. Here’s a day in Tokyo . . .
The British team cemented their gold medal position at the Tokyo Olympics with three magnificent cross-country performances, all clear inside the time. Added to that, their first rider, Oliver Townend, holds pole position individually after the dressage leader, Germany’s Michael Jung, picked up 11 penalties for triggering a frangible device.
The 2012 and 2016 individual Olympic champion, Germany’s Michael Jung, blazed into first place after dressage at the Tokyo 2020 Games with a superb test on Chipmunk.
Deservedly scoring 21.1 - a record for both rider and his country at an Olympics, according to EquiRatings - it was a joy to watch. From the first extended trot, the pair looked secure, positive, and harmonious. The test was as accurate and as well-delivered as that of long-time leaders Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class (GBR), but with more expression and ease. Jung and the Contendro 13-year-old demonstrated all this specially-written, short Olympic test asks for and each movement flowed into the next.