Oct 26, 2019

Tokyo Talk: Who, When, Where?

By Leslie Mintz - USEA Staff
Equestrian Park stables at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic venue. FEI / Yusuke Nakanishi Photo.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are still nine months away, but the excitement is ramping up. With the conclusion of the 2019 FEI Eventing Nations Cup, the final tickets have been decided for the countries, but there is still a lot more to do before next summer. The eventing will take place from Friday, July 31 to Monday, August 3 in Tokyo, Japan. Typically eventing is the first equestrian discipline, but this year it will be the second with dressage coming first and jumping last.

Dressage and show jumping will take place at the Equestrian Park – the same venue that hosted the 1964 Olympics. It can seat 9,300 spectators and is currently used for riding and competitions. Cross-Country will be held at Sea Forest – an area of reclaimed land on the Tokyo Bay. The course will be only temporarily constructed and after the Olympics the land will be open to the public as a recreation area. There is a capacity of 16,000 for cross-country spectators.

The schedule:

Friday, July 31
Dressage from 8:00 – 11:10 a.m. and 5:30 – 8:55 p.m.

Saturday, August 1
Dressage from 8:00 – 11:10 a.m

Sunday, August 2
Cross-Country from 8:30 – 11:55 a.m.

Monday, August 3
Team Show Jumping followed by Individual Show Jumping from 5:00 – 10:25 p.m.

USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Who will compete?

A total of 65 horses and riders can compete with 45 spots for team riders and 20 for individuals.

Fifteen countries will send a team of three riders each. Countries had to earn their spots from designated qualifying events. The World Equestrian Games (WEG) and FEI Eventing Nations Cup Rankings were open to any country, but the other four routes were restricted based on what FEI Group a country is in.

Group A - North Western Europe
Group B - South Western Europe
Group C - Central & Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Group D - North America
Group E - Central & South America
Group F - Africa & Middle East
Group G - South East Asia, Oceania

The 15 countries competing at the Olympics will be:

Japan (as host country)
Great Britain (qualified at WEG)
Ireland (qualified at WEG)
France (qualified at WEG)
Germany (qualified at WEG)
Australia (qualified at WEG)
New Zealand (qualified at WEG)
Sweden (qualified at the European Championships - Group A/B qualifying event)
Italy (qualified at the European Championships - Group A/B qualifying event)
Poland (qualified at Baborowko – Group C qualifying event)
USA (qualified at the Pan American Games - Group D/E qualifying event)
Brazil (qualified at the Pan American Games - Group D/E qualifying event)
China (qualified at Saumur – Group F/G qualifying event)
Thailand (qualified at Saumur – Group F/G qualifying event)
Switzerland (qualified from FEI Eventing Nations Cup ratings)

While the 15 countries above have a spot in the Olympics, each country still must have riders who have achieved the minimum eligibility requirement (MER) by December 31, 2019. If a country isn’t able to achieve this then the spots will be reallocated based on FEI Olympic Rankings. The country with the best aggregate rankings (a country’s top three athletes' rankings added together) will be given a spot.

FEI/Yusuke Nakanishi Photo.

The 20 individual athlete spots will only go to riders from countries who aren’t sending a team and each country is allowed a maximum of two individual athletes. There are 14 open places for the two best-ranked athletes in each of the seven FEI groups A-G. View current rankings for each group here. The remaining six spots are available to the top-ranked athletes in the FEI Olympic Rankings. The rankings consist of only riders who don't ride for a country sending a team.

The FEI will confirm all team and individual places by March 16, 2020.

All riders (whether on a team or individual) must achieve their MER between January 2019 and June 1, 2020. The MER for the Olympics requires that the horse and rider as a pair have a qualifying result at:

  • 1 CCI5* OR
  • 1 CCI4*-L AND 1 CCI4*-S

The qualifying result must have:

  • Dressage score of 45.0 (55%) or less
  • Cross-country clear or with 11 penalty points and not more than 75 seconds over the optimum time at four-star and not more than 100 seconds over the optimum time at five-star
  • Show jumping with four rails or less

Entries are due on July 6, 2020.

Stay tuned for more Tokyo Talk as we countdown the months to the Olympics!

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