2020 Tokyo Olympics
An Olympic format change may allow equestrians from more countries to compete at the next Olympics.
The Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) states national governing bodies voted in favor of changes that could be seen at the Tokyo Games in 2020. Changes include reducing the number of equestrian athletes to three and getting rid of the drop score for all disciplines. A reserve horse and rider combination will remain in place to ensure horse welfare.
A total of eleven National Federations voted against the proposal out of the 107 voting. When it came to the sport-specific changes to the three Olympic disciplines the vote was unanimous.
The discipline specific proposed changes include the following:
- 20 teams (60 horse/athlete combinations)
- 15 slots for nations not qualified with a team (maximum one horse/athlete combination per nation)
- Individual event will now take place before Team event
- Cut-off score: the exact cut-off and resulting penalty will be finalised in the Olympic Regulations
- The exact penalty for any horse/athlete combination that is eliminated, or does not complete their round for any reason, will be finalized in the Olympic Regulations
- Each directly qualified team may bring a reserve rider/horse combination, or horse only
- One individual per nation not represented by a qualified team (no composite teams)
- Determine Team medals solely through results of Grand Prix Special (no longer a combination of Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special scores)
- Introduce new “heat system” (including “lucky losers”) for Grand Prix: 18 individuals to qualify from Grand Prix to Grand Prix Freestyle (best two from each of the 6 heats, plus the next 6 with the best overall results)
- 8 top teams (24 starters) from Grand Prix to qualify for Grand Prix Special
- Introduce new system for starting order in Grand Prix
- Conduct Grand Prix Special to music
- One reserve combination per team will be allowed. The reserve combination is an important element of the proposal in order to preserve horse welfare. If a reserve combination is substituted, it will incur a penalty for the team. The exact penalty will be finalised in the Olympic Regulations
- Maximum of two individuals per nation not represented by a team
- Order of tests to remain unchanged (1st Dressage; 2nd Cross Country; 3rd Jumping Team; 4th Jumping Individual)
- Olympic Eventing to take place over three days (Dressage test reduced to one day)
- Technical level of the three tests to be defined as the “Olympic level”: Dressage and Jumping 4*; Cross Country: 10-minute optimum time, 45 jumping efforts, and 3* technical difficulty
- Qualification of athletes/horses to be achieved on the same Cross Country technical level to ensure implementation of the recommendations of the FEI Independent Audit in Eventing
- For the purpose of the Team classification only: any horse/athlete combinations not completing a test can continue to the next test if accepted as fit to compete at the relevant Horse Inspection
- For the purpose of the Team classification only: penalties for the non-completion of a test for any reason, Dressage =100 points, Cross Country = 150, Jumping = 100
- Rules for the Individual event remain unchanged
- Each directly qualified team is entitled to bring four horse/athlete combinations, of which three will have to be declared to compete on the team after the Individual Championships test, in which all four will compete as Individuals.
- Maximum of two individuals per nation not represented by a team (no composite teams)
- Determine Team medals solely through results of Team test (no longer a combination of Team and Individual test scores)
- Top 8 per grade from the Individual test to qualify for the Freestyle test
- Order of tests: Individual Championship test, Team test, Freestyle
- Team test to be set to music
The IOC Executive Board must give final approval in 2017 to the proposed changes.