In equestrian events, both rider and horse score points for accuracy and artistic expression of their combined performance. In all events, men and women compete equally against each other.
The key factors are the technical proficiency and elegance rather than physical strength. Skills of both the rider and horse are crucial, and developing the necessary skills in the horses to reach competitive levels requires much time and training
Both individual and team competitions are included.
Riders work closely with their horses, and competitions demonstrate the combined skills of both rider and horse. The rider seeks to exploit the full potential of the horse, and the horse strives to respond to the demands of its rider.
Spectator attractions include how the riders communicate with their horses and how the rider and horse overcome hurdles and work together as an integrated team.
Collaborations between humans and horses date back to the ancient civilizations of China, Egypt and Persia.
Equestrian competitions in Europe are believed to have developed in ancient Greece, and the origins of modern equestrian events are believed to have originated during the Renaissance period in Italy.
Equestrian was introduced as an Olympic sport at the Paris 1900 Games, but only jumping events were contested at the time. As a result of an international conference held in 1921, it was determined that the Olympic equestrian programme would consist of three competitions—dressage, jumping and eventing.
(IOC Announcement, June 9, 2017)