The first qualification event to the 2016 Summer Olympics ended on September 7th 2014 at the 2014 World Equestrian Games. Team quotas (4 athletes) were up for grabs in all three disciplines with the top 3 dressage teams, top 6 eventing teams and top 5 jumping teams all qualifying to the Olympics. This event was also a regional qualifier for nations in the F and G regions (nations from Africa, Asia and Oceania) where the top ranked dressage team from that area also qualifies.
In dressage Germany was easily able to take the gold medal where three members of their team finished in the top 5. Great Britain took silver with Charlotte Dujardin leading the way over all competitors with her horse Valegro. Netherlands took bronze and the final Olympic spot with a comfortable 4 point lead over the United States, Spain and Sweden. Australia whom finished 10th also qualifies to the Olympics as the best team from the F and G regions easily finishing ahead of the next best competitor South Africa whom finished in a distant 20th.
Germany, Great Britain and Netherlands also showed that they are great in eventing by also finishing in the top three and in the same order. Germany was in a class of its own finishing with 177.9 points while Great Britain also displayed its strength in the event finishing with 198.8 points, far ahead of Netherlands 246.8 points. France, Australia and Ireland round out the six qualified nations to the Olympics.
Update 23/04/2015: France’s team was disqualified after Maxime Livio’s horse tested positive for Hydroxyethylpromazine sulfoxide. The team quota has since been given to Canada, the next best ranked nation.
In jumping Netherlands rounded out its successful world championships by winning a gold medal. Germany was relegated down to fourth after falling behind France and losing third place to the United States by just 0.1 points. Since fifth place Brazil has already qualified to the Olympics by being the host nation sixth place Sweden rounds out the five nations going to Rio.
Overall this was a successful qualification event for Europe, notably Germany and Netherlands whom qualified in all three disciplines. On the other hand this was a terrible event for nations in the Americas. United States only qualified in jumping while Canada failed to qualify in any event, add that the Americas have one less team quota in each event in their continental qualifier (2015 Pan American Games) compared to the 2012 Olympics and we are left with one of United States or Canada not having a dressage and eventing team and qualification overall becoming rather difficult for other nations like Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Mexico.
- Germany – 12
- Netherlands – 12
- Australia – 8
- France – 8
- Great Britain – 8
- Ireland – 4
- Sweden – 4
- United States – 4
- FEI. 2014 World Equestrian Games. Access on Feb 28 2015.
- Wikipedia. Equestrian at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Qualification. Access on Feb 28 2015
- insidethegamez.biz. France stripped of Olympic eventing qualification place after positive test at World Equestrian Games. Access on Apr 23 2015.