Equestrian at the 1964 Summer Olympics

The equestrian events at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo included show jumping, dressage and eventing. All three disciplines had both individual and team competitions. The competitions were held from 16 to 24 October 1964. These events took place at Karuizawa, which would become the first city to host Summer and Winter Olympic event when it hosted the curling events for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.

at the Games of the XVIII Olympiad
Dates16–24 October
No. of events6
Competitors116 from 20 nations
← 1960
1968 →
Equestrian sports at the 1964 Summer Olympics on a stamp of Japan

This was the second time the Olympics were held in a city that required most of the horses to travel long distances (the first being the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles). Unlike the 1932 Games, however, there was a high participation rate due to the better economic conditions as well as the ability to fly the Olympic mounts to Japan. However, horses that could not be controlled had to be destroyed. This included the US eventer Markham, who panicked during departure from Newark, and an Argentinian horse had to be destroyed while flying home. Additionally, a Chilean horse died of a heart attack while flying to Tokyo. Overall there were 116 entries from 20 countries, including 13 women, with 4 nations fielding teams in all three disciplines: Japan, Germany, the USSR, and the USA. The youngest participant was Christilot Hanson-Boylen from Canada at 17 years old, while the oldest rider was the Irish Harry Freeman-Jackson at 53 years old.[1]


Show jumpingEdit

Forty-six riders from seventeen nations contested the Shunzo Kido-designed course, which was 780 meters in length with 14 obstacles and 17 efforts. The hardest question was towards the end of the course. The penultimate obstacle was a 5 meter wide water, followed by a left turn to an impressively large oxer. Only 6 riders cleared the water in both rounds, and only 3 cleared the final oxer without faults both times. Adding to the difficulty was the fact that the ground was very deep due to heavy rain leading up to the event. Pierre Jonquères d’Oriola became the first show jumper to win two individual gold medals (having won in 1952 with his mount Ali Baba).


Dressage reintroduced the team competition after removing it from the 1960 Games. 22 riders from 9 nations competed, and there were just enough teams (6 required by the IOC) to hold a team competition: Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Japan, the USSR, and the USA. 3 judges were present, first judging a 12-minute 30 second Grand Prix test and announcing scores immediately after each ride. This was followed by the considerably shorter Grand Prix Special, at 6 minutes 30 seconds, which acted as a ride off. Each ride in the Special was filmed and examined by the judges, with a 2-hour delay before the final scores were announced publicly.


Held in Karuizawa, 150 km from Tokyo, the 31-obstacle cross-country course was criticized as being too straightforward for an Olympic Games. Phase A was 6 km at 240 m/min, followed by a 3.6 km steeplechase at 600 m/min, then 13.92 km Phase C at 240 m/min. The cross country was 7.2 km at a speed of 450 m/min, and was followed by Phase E, a 1980-meter gallop at 330 m/min. Italy gained the lead after the endurance day and held it to win the gold medal. Germany was in silver medal position but lost it on the final day to the United States.

American Lana du Pont became the first woman to ride in an Olympic eventing competition.

Medal summaryEdit

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Individual dressage
  Henri Chammartin
and Wörmann (SUI)
  Harry Boldt
and Remus (EUA)
  Sergei Filatov
and Absent (URS)
Team dressage
  United Team of Germany (EUA)
Harry Boldt
and Remus
Reiner Klimke
and Dux
Josef Neckermann
and Antoinette
  Switzerland (SUI)
Henri Chammartin
and Wörmann
Gustav Fischer
and Wald
Marianne Gossweiler
and Stephan
  Soviet Union (URS)
Sergei Filatov
and Absent
Ivan Kizimov
and Ikhor
Ivan Kalita
and Moar
Individual eventing
  Mauro Checcoli
and Surbean (ITA)
  Carlos Moratorio
and Chalan (ARG)
  Fritz Ligges
and Donkosak (EUA)
Team eventing
  Italy (ITA)
Mauro Checcoli
and Surbean
Paolo Angioni
and King
Giuseppe Ravano
and Royal Love
  United States (USA)
Michael Page
and The Grasshopper
Kevin Freeman
and Gallopade
Michael Plumb
and Bold Minstrel
  United Team of Germany (EUA)
Fritz Ligges
and Donkosak
Horst Karsten
and Condora
Gerhard Schulz
and Balza X
Individual jumping
  Pierre Jonquères d'Oriola
and Lutteur B (FRA)
  Hermann Schridde
and Dozent II (EUA)
  Peter Robeson
and Firecrest (GBR)
Team jumping
  United Team of Germany (EUA)
Hermann Schridde
and Dozent II
Kurt Jarasinski
and Torro
Hans Günter Winkler
and Fidelitas
  France (FRA)
Pierre Jonquères d'Oriola
and Lutteur B
Janou Lefèbvre
and Kenavo D
Guy Lefrant
and Monsieur de Littry
  Italy (ITA)
Piero D'Inzeo
and Sun Beam
Raimondo D'Inzeo
and Posillipo
Graziano Mancinelli
and Rockette

Medal tableEdit

1  United Team of Germany (EUA)2226
2  Italy (ITA)2013
3  France (FRA)1102
  Switzerland (SUI)1102
5  Argentina (ARG)0101
  United States (USA)0101
7  Soviet Union (URS)0022
8  Great Britain (GBR)0011
Totals (8 nations)66618


  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Equestrianism at the 1964 Tokyo Equestrian Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.

Further readingEdit

  • International Olympic Committee medal database
  • Tokyo Organizing Committee (1964). The Games of the XVIII Olympiad: Tokyo 1964, vol. 2.
  • Wallechinsky, David and Jaime Loucky (2009). "Curling: Men". In The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. London: Aurum Predd Limited. p. 150.