A total of 48 countries participated in the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games™.
- Jumping 97 participants (37 countries)
- Dressage 65 participants (24 countries)
- Eventing 80 participants (21 countries)
- Driving 43 participants (17 countries)
- Endurance 150 participants (36 countries)
- Reining 49 participants started (11 countries)
- Vaulting 47 female vaulters (19 countries) & 30 male vaulters (16 countries)
Countries participating for the first time: Colombia, Guatemala, India, Jordan, Philippines, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay
The amazing Frenchman Eric Navet, who already had four FEI World Equestrian Games™ medals in his trophy cabinet (team and individual gold from Stockholm in 1990 and team silvers from The Hague in 1994 and Rome in 1998), was in superb form yet again. The 2002 WEG provided him with two more medals; the first for finishing second individually and the other medal for his team, for whom his contribution was invaluable.
The French, with Eric Levallois, Reynald Angot, Gilles Bertran and Eric Navet won the team title for the third time, ahead of Sweden and Belgium.
Ireland's Dermott Lennon took the world by surprise when the quiet farmer's son claimed the individual honours with his great mare Liscalgot, while Sweden's Helena Lundback became the second woman, following in the footsteps of Gail Greenough (Aachen, 1986), to earn a place in the change-horse final with her little mare Mynta.
Mares were to the fore again in the individual final with Liscalgot and Mynta joined by American rider Peter Wylde's Fein Cera, but Navet's Dollar du Murier was one of the four super-stallions that did French horse-breeding proud as they soared to victory in the team competition.
Sixty-five riders competed in the fourth World Equestrian Games, for the 10th World Dressage title. Germany, with Ulla Salzgeber on Rusty, won the team gold medal, with the United States and Spain taking the next two places on the podium. Nadine Capellmann of Germany won the individual title, ahead of Beatriz Ferrer (ESP) on Beauvalais and Ulla Salzgeber (GER) on Rusty.
Piia Pantsu, the lone Finnish eventer, finally won a World championship medal when she took bronze behind Jean Teulère of France on Espoir de la Mare and Jeanette Brakewell of Great Britain on Over to You. The USA took team gold, with France and Great Britain following. Blyth Tait, twice the world champion, was eliminated with Ready Teddy in the cross country and all four German riders, five-time team medal winners in previous editions, were also eliminated.
Ijsbrand Chardon of the Netherlands won his third individual world title and was, for the fifth time, a member of the winning Dutch team. Individually Christoph Sandmann of Germany was second with the Swede Tomas Eriksson coming in third. In fourth and fifth place came two Americans, Tucker Johnson and Chester Weber, who, together with Jimmy Fairclough, won team silver, the first four-in-hand driving medal ever won by the Americans. Among the newcomers Stefan Kläy of Switzerland was 13th and Wolf von Buchholtz of Argentina 31st. In addition to Karen Basset of Great Britain there was also a woman driver from Spain, Teresa Garcia Moreno, who finished in 40th place.
France took team gold ahead of Italy and Australia. One of the sons of Sheikh Mohammed, Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, won the individual title, riding Bowman. The winner was over 15 minutes ahead of the second-placed Antonio Rossi of Italy and third-placed Sunny Demedy of France.
The Germans took team gold at Jerez, followed by Switzerland and Sweden. In the individual titles championships, Nadia Zülow was triumphant again (after her win at the 1998 WEG), followed by Rikke Laumann (DEN) and Ines Jückstock (GER) in second place. Matthias Lang of France, second in 1998, took the gold this time, while Gero Meyer of Germany and Devon Maitozo (USA) finished in second and third place on the podium.