Jul 29, 2021

Tokyo 2020 Fast Facts

By Kim Beaudoin - USEA Staff
FEI / ©Hippo-Foto Dirk Caremans photo

And they're off! Eventing kicks off today in Tokyo (Thursday, July 29 – 7:30 p.m. ET), with the first of three Olympic dressage sessions. Competitors from 29 nations will go head to head, vying for a spot on the coveted Olympic podium.

The Field:

  • This year, horse-and-rider combinations will represent 29 nations: Thailand, Belarus, Great Britain, USA, Canada, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Denmark, Spain, South Africa, China, Poland, Austria, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Hong Kong China, ROC, France, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, India, Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, Belgium, and Ecuador.
  • Fifteen teams of three are competing with the remaining 15 riders competing as individuals.
  • There are a total of 75 horses on the roster (including reserves), comprised of 52 geldings, 17 mares, and 7 stallions, with 23 breeds represented.

  • There are 37 male riders and 23 females competing. Italy is the only team comprised entirely of female riders while there are six teams made up entirely of men.
  • Thailand will be the first country to go as they were selected at the top of the draw order with the U.S. going third. View the full draw order here.
  • The oldest horse, Tayberry, is 20 years old (Hong Kong, China), while no horse competing is under the age of 10.

  • The oldest rider in the field is Australia's Andrew Hoy, who is 62-years-old. The youngest competitors are Austria's Lea Siegl and Switzerland's Robin Godel who are both 22 years old.
  • One nation is competing with an individual in Equestrian Eventing for the first time: Hong Kong (previously fielded Jumping team in 2008)
  • Two nations are competing with teams in Equestrian Eventing for the first time:
    China and Thailand.
  • Six horses competing in Equestrian Eventing in Tokyo also competed in Rio:
    Iberon Jemen / Marcio Appel Cheuiche (BRA), Qorry Blue d'Argouges / Colleen Loach (CAN), Don Geniro /Alex Hua Tian (CHN), Quefira de l'Ormeau /Arianna Schivo (ITA), Castle Larchfield Purdy / Lauren Billys (PUR), Gurza / Andrey Mitin (ROC).
  • Equestrian Eventing athletes with most Olympic gold medals competing in Tokyo 2020:
    Michael Jung (GER) with three golds – two Individual (2012 and 2016) and one Team in 2012, plus a team silver in Rio 2016, all with Sam. Andrew Hoy (AUS) with three team golds – 1992 (Kiwi), 1996, and 2000 with Darien Powers, also individual silver in Sydney 2000 with Swizzle In.
  • Germany’s Michael Jung won the second of his two consecutive Individual Olympic Equestrian Eventing titles at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and he's coming back for more this year. Read about it here.
  • Husband and wife Tim and Jonelle Price from New Zealand will be competing together in Equestrian Eventing at Tokyo 2020.
  • France are the defending gold medalists from Rio, but will have a lot of top teams to contend with to win gold again.
  • View the Individual Entries here, and the Team Entries here.

The Officials:

  • President of the Ground Jury is Great Britain's Nick Burton, Christina Klingspoer (Sweden) and the USA’s Jane Hamlin will serve alongside him as members of the Ground Jury.
  • The FEI Technical Delegate Great Britain’s Philip Surl, and the Assistant TD is New Zealand’s Neil Mackenzie-Hall.
  • Great Britain’s Richard Clapham is the cross-country controller.
  • The cross-country course has been designed by Derek di Grazia, who also designs the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and the USEA American Eventing Championships. The show jumping course designer is Santiago Varela.
  • View a full list of officials here.

New Format Explanation:

This year, there is a new eventing format, and only three riders will compete for a team. There is no drop score. However, there is an opportunity to substitute a horse and rider.

With the new format, the traveling reserve must pass both horse inspections, and they can be subbed into the competition up to two hours before the dressage phase begins, with no penalty to the team. The horse that the reserve replaces then becomes the new team reserve. So what happens next?
If all of the combinations make it through all three phases, their scores are combined, and they get a team score.
If a combination doesn't complete the dressage phase, 100 penalty points are added to the overall team score.
If a combination doesn't complete the cross-country phase, 200 penalty points are added to the overall team score.

At this point, the team has a few choices:
1. They can bring the reserve combination in and keep the penalties acquired from the incompletion, plus 20 more penalties for bringing in the reserve. Whatever penalties that reserve accumulates will also be added to the team's final score.
2. OR, the team can bypass the substitution and bring the eliminated or retired pair back into the competition with the non-completion penalties added to the score. There are exceptions to this if the horse suffers from an injury, disqualification, horse fall, or if the rider gets penalized because of unsafe or abusive riding. At this point, a substitution is also not allowed.

Only one substitution can be made per team, and it must be both horse AND rider. Substitutes made overnight between phases will only inquire 20 penalties. Only riders that compete in all three phases are eligible for individual medals.

Helpful Links:

The Full Schedule:
*(Note that days and times are provided in Eastern Daylight Time first and Japanese Standard Time second.)

Click here to view the official Olympic schedule.


Eventing Dressage Team and Individual Day 1 – Session 1
THURSDAY, JULY 29, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM (EDT)
FRIDAY, JULY 30, 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM (JST)

Eventing Dressage Team and Individual Day 1 – Session 2
FRIDAY, JULY 30, 4:30 AM – 7:10 AM (EDT)

FRIDAY, JULY 30, 5:30 PM – 8:10 PM (JST)

Eventing Dressage Team and Individual Day 2 – Session 3
FRIDAY, JULY 30, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM (EDT)

SATURDAY, JULY 31, 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM (JST)

Eventing Cross-Country Team and Individual
SATURDAY, JULY 31, 6:45 PM – 10:10 PM (EDT)

SUNDAY, AUGUST 1, 7:45 AM – 11:10 AM (JST)

Eventing Jumping Team Final and Individual Qualifier
Eventing Jumping Individual Final
Eventing Team Victory Ceremony
Eventing Individual Victory Ceremony
MONDAY, AUGUST 2, 4:00 AM – 9:25 AM (EDT)
MONDAY, AUGUST 2, 5:00 PM – 10:25 PM (JST)

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