FEI World Equestrian Games

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The FEI World Equestrian Games are the official world championships in the most important equestrian disciplines: show jumping, dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining (since 2002). The event takes place every four years, but it is surely a myth that it was initiated as alternative program to the soccer World Cup.

That means that together with the Summer Olympic Games there is a major international championship for equestrianism every second year. The Olympics host only three of seven main equine disciplines - show jumping, dressage and eventing. Equestrian sports are the only Olympic sports where men and women compete directly.

History

It was in the 1980’s when Prince Philip, president of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) at that time, proposed the idea of World Equestrian Games as the World Championships for the six most important equestrian disciplines at one location. It was the vision to bring the world’s best riders and drivers as well as a large number of exceptional horses together. Before that, there were different events for the different disciplines.

1990 Stockholm

The first combined World Championships were a huge success. The world equestrian elite spent two weeks in Stockholm competing for medals in the six disciplines of jumping, dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, and vaulting.

The nations ranking was won by Germany with a total number of 12 medals (4 gold medals: dressage team, dressage individual, vaulting men, vaulting women), followed by France with a total number of 3 medals (2 gold medals: jumping team, jumping individual) and New Zealand and Sweden with a total number of 2 medals (2 gold medals: New Zealand: eventing team, eventing individual; Sweden: driving team, driving individual).

1994 The Hague

Although the event in The Hague ran successful in every meaning the media feedback was quite poor. The nations ranking was won by Germany with a total number of 16 medals (7 gold medals: dressage team, dressage special, jumping team, jumping individual, driving team, driving individual, vaulting women), followed by France with a total number of 6 medals (1 gold medal: endurance team) and the United States of America with a total number of 4 medals (1 gold medal: endurance individual).

The dressage contest was carried out in two different disciplines, the dressage Special and the dressage Freestyle. If there is only one individual gold medal in dressage the Grand Prix Special serves as the qualifier for the Grand Prix Freestyle.

1998 Rome

After the public interest in the games in The Hague was less than hoped for, the World Championships in Rome (1.-11.10.1998) were a huge success. The charm of the eternal city spread to the World Championships. Competitors in five disciplines met in Italy, with the endurance championships held separately in Dubai. It was an outstanding achievement by the organizers who jumped in on short notice due to the late change of venue from Dublin to Rome.

The nations ranking was won by Germany with a total number of 10 medals (5 gold medals: dressage team, dressage individual, jumping team, vaulting team, vaulting women), followed by New Zealand with a total number of 4 medals (3 gold medals: eventing team, eventing individual, endurance team) and the United States of America with a total number of 5 medals (2 gold medals: vaulting men, endurance individual).

2002 Jerez

The World Championships in Jerez de la Frontera (10.-22.9.2002) were unique with the addition of a seventh discipline, reining. So the western riding community was included. The Jerez Games attracted some 300,000 visitors. More than 800 equestrians from 45 countries competed.

The nations ranking was won by Germany with a total number of 9 medals (4 gold medals: dressage team, dressage individual, vaulting team, vaulting women), followed by France with a total number of 7 medals (4 gold medals: jumping team, eventing individual, vaulting men, endurance team) and the United States of America with a total number of 8 medals (3 gold medals: eventing team, reining team, reining individual).

2006 Aachen

Over the duration of the event (20.8.-3.9.2006), 773 athletes and 852 horses from 61 nations competed before 570,000 spectators.

The nations ranking was won by Germany with a total number of 12 medals (6 gold medals: dressage team, dressage special, eventing team, driving team, vaulting team, vaulting men), followed by the United States of America with a total number of 9 medals (2 gold medals: vaulting women, reining team) and the Netherlands with a total number of 6 medals (2 gold medals: dressage freestyle, jumping team). The dressage contest was carried out in two different disciplines, the dressage Special and the dressage Freestyle. If there is only one individual gold medal in dressage the Grand Prix Special serves as the qualifier for the Grand Prix Freestyle.

2010 Lexington

With Lexington the FEI World Equestrian Games get the first non-European host in its history. Para-equestrian competition will be held for dressage riders with disabilities as part of the FEI World Equestrian Games for the first time.