- 32 nations (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Netherland, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, USSR, Venezuela, Virgin Islands)
- 179 entries (74 in Jumping; 53 in Dressage; 50 in Eventing)
- For Dressage, it was the first time in history that all the individual medals were awarded to women.
Jumping (74 riders from 24 nations)
Dressage (53 riders from 18 nations)
Eventing (50 riders from 16 nations)
Olaf Petersen of Germany was the course designer. With the generous financial help of SLOOC he had designed beautiful obstacles, all referring to the history, traditions and pageantry of Korea.
The team competition was held at the equestrian centre in Kwachon. The course measured 770m. The verticals were up to 1.60m, the largest oxer was 2.00m wide and the water jump measured 4.60m.
The first German to go in the team competition was Ludger Beerbaum who, after his horse Landlord went lame, was able to ride on Hafemeister’s second horse, The Freak, formerly ridden by Hugo Simon. His clear round with a quarter time fault set Germany on the road to gold. In the second round, Germany’s last rider, Franke Sloothaak, who had gone clear in the first round, did not have to start. Germany won with 17.25 points ahead of the USA with 20.5 and France with 27.5.
The individual Jumping final was held in the huge Olympic Stadium on closing day, but not on the same ticket as the closing ceremony, thus attracting a small crowd compared to the 75,000 seats available. At 8am, when the first horse entered the arena, there were around 200 spectators; the number increased to 10,000 for the jump-off.
For the first time qualifications were held to reduce the starting field for the individual final. Of the 74 riders who took part in the first qualification, half were allowed to compete in round A of the final in the Olympic stadium. Twenty-one returned for round B. Only three of the four riders per country were allowed in the final.
The reigning European champions, Pierre Durand and the 13-year-old black gelding Jappeloup, added Olympic gold to their winnings.
Fifty-three riders from 18 nations competed; 10 countries fielded full teams of four riders and one country had a team of three. It was the first time ever that four riders per country were allowed, though only three could go forward to the Grand Prix Special. Since Los Angeles four years previously the Grand Prix had been shortened to 7 minutes, which gave increased importance to the piaffe and passage.
The elegant “dancer” Rembrandt ridden by Nicole Uphoff won ahead of Margit Otto-Crépin’s Corlandus, while third place went to a “working horse”, Christine Stückelbergers’ Gauguin de Lully. A pleasant surprise was the performance of the young Korean Jung-Kyun Suh on Reiner Klimke’s former horse Pascal who placed 10th.
Not deemed supernatural… the competition was slightly disturbed by a wandering shadow from the roof of the Grand Stand. It affected at least six horses; probably the most to suffer was Monica Theodorescu, third in the Grand Prix, but only sixth in the Special.
For only for the second time in the 76-year history of Eventing at the Olympic Games the defending champion, Mark Todd, 32, aboard the 16-year-old New Zealand bred Charisma, repeated his victory.
Todd had taken the lead after Dressage, ahead of Claus Erhorn, Virgina Leng and Thies Kaspreit. The test was the same as in 1976; it lasted 7½ minutes and comprised 20 individual marks and four collective marks.
Wondang, 43km north of Kwachon, was a hilly terrain and after the course walk, six of the obstacles on Hugh Thomas’ cross-country course had to be lowered and the first element of No.27 was removed. The four phases measured a total of 26,761m.
Germany, all four riders of which had gone clear over the cross-country fences, was safely in the lead, ahead of New Zealand and Great Britain.
The Jumping phase saw only one change in the medal positions. New Zealand, with only three riders, lost silver to Great Britain after five knock-downs by Andrew Bennie on Grayshott. Germany won gold. There were 10 clear rounds by the 36 remaining starters, while Todd, Stark and Leng remained in their individual medal positions.