Dressage at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro at the 2012 London Olympic Games photo by Susan j Stickle
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Photo by Susan J Stickle.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – August 3, 2016 – Horses and athletes representing 25 nations are preparing for the start of the dressage competition at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in one week’s time.

The 2012 individual gold medalists – Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro – are back to defend their title and will face off against 59 other horse/athlete combinations. Great Britain will also try for a repeat team gold, with a major threat coming from the dominant German team that includes the world’s three top ranked riders.

The United States hasn’t earned a team or individual dressage medal since 2004, and they are hungry for a podium finish. Their team includes Olympic veteran Steffen Peters; Laura Graves, who will make her Olympic debut after representing the U.S. at the World Equestrian Games, Pan American Games, and World Cup Final; and Allison Brock and Kasey Perry-Glass, who will be making their major championship debuts.

See below for an overview of the 2016 Olympic dressage competition.

Dates and Times
Note: All times below reflect local times in Rio de Janeiro (GMT–3), which is one hour ahead of Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

Monday, Aug. 8, 3:45-4:55 p.m. – Horse inspection

Wednesday, Aug. 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. – Grand Prix (Day 1)

Thursday, Aug. 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. – Grand Prix (Day 2)

Friday, Aug. 12: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. – Grand Prix Special

Monday, Aug. 15: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Grand Prix Freestyle

Where to Watch

NBC will provide a livestream for U.S. viewers, who will need to login with their cable or satellite provider in order to watch. Click here to access links to the Aug. 10, Aug. 11, Aug. 12, and Aug. 15 livestreams. MSNBC will broadcast a segment from the Grand Prix on Aug. 11 from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m. EDT, and USA will broadcast live from the Grand Prix Freestyle on Aug. 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT.

CBC.ca will be livestreaming from Rio for Canadian viewers, and those in the UK can watch via BBC.


Teams include either three or four horse/rider combinations. A team’s best three results from Grand Prix are added to its best three results from the Grand Prix Special to determine its overall score.

All members of the best six teams from the Grand Prix, as well as the highest placed eight athletes outside of those six teams, advance to the Grand Prix Special.

Individual medals are determined solely by the Grand Prix Freestyle. The 18 highest placed combinations in the Grand Prix Special advance to the Freestyle. No more than three athletes per country may compete in the Freestyle.


Eleven teams, including Denmark’s composite team drawn from individual qualification spots, will join 16 individuals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil. Click here to view the full list of participating horses and athletes.


President of the Ground Jury: Maribel Alonso (MEX)

Members of the Ground Jury: Susanne Baarup (DEN), Stephen Clarke (GBR), Eddy de Wolff van Westerrode (NED), Peter Holler (GER), Thomas Lang (AUT) and Gary Rockwell (USA)

Judges Supervisory Panel (an official back-up system to correct marking errors at all major events): Mary Seefried (AUS), David Hunt (GBR) and Uwe Mechlem (GER)

FEI Delegate for Dressage: Jacques van Daele (BEL)

Dressage Chief Steward: Elisabeth Williams (USA), assisted by Lisa Gorretta (USA)

Defending Champions from the 2012 London Olympic Games

Team: Great Britain (gold), Germany (silver), Netherlands (bronze)

Individual: Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro (gold), Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival (silver), Laura Tomlinson (Bechtolsheimer) and Mistral Hojris (bronze). The 2012 gold and silver medal pairs will compete again in Rio.

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro at the 2012 London Olympic Games photo by Susan j Stickle
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Photo by Susan J Stickle.
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