- 25 nations (Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherland, Norway, Portugal, Rumania, Soviet Union, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA)
- Newcomers were Canada, Egypt, Korea and the Soviet Union. Chile returned for the first time since 1912.
- 138 entries (52 in Jumping; 27 in Dressage; 59 in Eventing)
- Mixed events opened to both men and women took place for the first time.
Jumping (52 riders from 20 nations)
Dressage (27 riders from 10 nations)
Eventing (59 riders from 21 nations)
The two sets of medals – team and individual – were decided by the Prix des Nations (Nations Cup) held for the first time over two rounds. Sixteen teams with three riders each competed. The course, designed by Björn Strandell, measured 786 meters, which gave a time allowed of 1 min. 57.2 sec. The height of the obstacles was up to 1.60m – the water jump measured 5m in width. Strandell, who had travelled all over Europe in the years preceding the Games, also built the obstacles of the Cross-Country of Eventing.
The Dressage competition of 1952 bore little resemblance to the one of 1948. The test, which now included piaffe and passage, took 15 minutes; non-commissioned officers were allowed and so were women, four of whom competed of a starting field of 27.
The best known of these women has come to be Lis Hartel of Denmark, whose background was rather different from most equestrian athletes of the time. In 1944, at the age of 23, she had been paralysed by polio and while she had gradually regained the use of most of her muscles, she nonetheless remained paralysed below the knee but learned to do without those muscles. She was chosen to represent Denmark at the 1952 Olympics and, even though she had to be helped on and off her horse, was awarded silver. When gold medallist Henri St-Cyr helped her up onto the victory platform for the medal presentation, it was one of the most emotional moments in Olympic history.
Eighteen riders competed on the first day, nine the day after. As was customary then, the scores were only made public after the end of the competition.
There were five judges. But for the first and last time the highest and the lowest scores of each judge were not considered.
The demands were slightly raised compared to what was asked in 1948, as follows:
- roads and tracks 7km 240m/min.
- steeplechase 4km 600m/min.
- roads and tracks 15km 240m/min.
- cross-country 9km 450m/min.
- gallop 2km 333m/min.
The obstacles in both the Cross-Country and the Jumping were up to 1.20m.
Of the 19 nations with teams, 13 fielded army teams. Two – Great Britain and Ireland - had mixed teams composed of military officers and civilians and four – Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, and the USA – participated with civilians. On the two medal podiums there were five officers and seven civilians.