2016 OLYMPIC EQUESTRIAN COMPETITION SCHEDULE
As you can see from the schedule, there are Olympic medals to be awarded for teams as well as for individuals in each discipline. And if it appears that some of them are judged at the same time, they are. It can be a bit complicated, so here are the official FEI rules as well as an explanation.
The FEI rules say, "The Team and Individual Competition will be run concurrently on separate consecutive days in the following order: the Dressage test, the Cross Country test and the Team Jumping Competition to determine the Team winner."
"The Individual final Jumping test will take place after the Team Jumping Competition on the same day. The twenty five (25) best Athletes, including those who tie for twenty fifth (25th) place on the conclusion of the Team Competition (maximum three (3) best scoring Athletes per team classification per nation) will qualify to participate."
What it means: Everyone does the 2008 Olympic Games 4* B (short) dressage test, the cross-country course and the jump course. Upon conclusion of these three, the team medals are announced. Then they take the top 25 scores (made up of all three components) and these horse/riders come back for another run at the jump course. Best score made up of dressage, cross-country and this 2nd jump course indicates the individual winners.
The FEI rules say, "Team and First Individual Qualifier, The FEI Grand Prix Test, in which all Athletes must participate, is the First Team Qualifying Competition and the First Individual Qualifying Competition
Team Final and Second Individual Qualifier, the FEI Grand Prix Special, is the final Team Competition and the Second Individual Qualifying Competition. The FEI Grand Prix Special is limited to and compulsory for the best six (6) placed teams of the Grand Prix, including those tied for sixth (6th) place, as well as the eight (8) highest placed Athletes of the Grand Prix not otherwise participating as qualified team members, including those tied for eighth (8th) place.
In the Individual Final Competition, the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle test is the Final Individual Competition which is limited to and compulsory for the 18 best placed Athletes of the FEI Grand Prix Special Competition, including those who tie for eighteenth (18th) place. Only the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle Competition counts towards the final Individual classification. The winning individual Athlete is the one (1) with the highest total percentage in the Grand Prix Freestyle Competition."
What it means: Everyone competes in the FEI Grand Prix test. The top 6 teams come back to perform the Grand Prix Special test. If a competitor is not a member of a team, the top eight riders will also be qualified to ride the Grand Prix Special. At the end of those two competitions, the team medals will be awarded. The top 18 are invited to participate in the Grand Prix Freestyle test. The score of the Grand Prix Freestyle determines the individual medals.
The FEI Rules say Showjumping will consist of , "The First Individual Qualifying Competition; The Team Jumping Competition, on two (2) days with a possible jump-off. First and Second Rounds also counting as Second and Third Individual Qualifying Competitions; The Final Individual Jumping Competition, consisting of one Final Competition run over two rounds (Round A & B) with a possible jump-off."
What it means: Anyone who wants to compete as an individual starts in Round One (Individual qualifying round). The top 60 move on to the first round (qualifying) for the Team Competition held the next two days - this is actually the second round of the Individual Competition. On the third day of competition, the Team Competition final is held. The top eight teams compete.
This also counts as the third round qualifier for the Individuals. The scores of the Round One Individual qualifier and the Round One Team (Round Two Individual) qualifier are calculated and the top 45 individuals are asked to return to compete in the Team finals (Third Individual Qualifier). Best individuals from Individual Qualifying Rounds One, Two and Three compete over two more courses (Round A and Round B) with the possibility of a jump-off to determine the Individual medals.
So enjoy the Olympics and cheer on our USA Equestrian Team! For those of you who like to "judge with the judges," I've linked the various dressage tests each discipline will be using for the 2016 Olympics.