Twenty one nations are celebrating their Olympic qualification today, 9 January, which marks the 200-day countdown to London 2012 and 100 years of equestrian sport in the Olympic movement. Eleven countries have now secured the opportunity to join the nine nations already qualified at the World Equestrian Games 2010 in Kentucky and hosts Great Britain at London 2012 through a series of nail-biting qualifiers held around the world for their Olympic Group.
Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and the USA have qualified to compete in team Dressage.
The total number of teams competing at the 2012 Olympic Games will be confirmed on 1 March when additional composite teams in Dressage and Eventing made up of three individuals from the same nation are finalised through the FEI Olympic Riders Ranking.
Nations qualifying to send individual riders will also be confirmed on 1 March and riders then have until 17 June to achieve the necessary minimum eligibility criteria to compete at London 2012.
“We have had the most exciting build-up during the qualification period, with Canada, Germany, Sweden and the USA qualifying for team places alongside host nation Great Britain in all three Olympic equestrian disciplines,” explained Catrin Norinder, Olympic Director at the FEI.
“There are still composite team places for two disciplines to secure and of course it's all to play for with the individual riders. We're building up to a thrilling 100-year anniversary for equestrian sport in the Olympics, when 200 riders and horses will compete for individual and team gold, silver and bronze medals in Eventing, Dressage and Jumping.”
The Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXX Olympiad on 27 July will be followed by 12 days of equestrian competition and, for the first time in Olympic history, the final equestrian event will be the Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle to Music held on 9 August.
Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic movement since the 1912 Games in Stockholm (SWE) and the FEI is working closely with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and LOCOG to maximise coverage of the competition in Greenwich Park.