Text by Marta Martin for Olympics.com
The Chateau de Versailles will be the backdrop of the Paris 2024 dressage competition, which has been compared to equestrian ballet. Once again, a maximum of 60 athlete-horse pairs will take part, but first they will need to showcase their elegance over the two-year qualification period to be in with a chance of winning an Olympic medal.
Equality is one of the principles of equestrian - a unique Olympic sport in which men and women compete for the same medals in the same events. And Paris 2024 will be no exception. Once, again there will be three equestrian competitions - dressage, jumping and eventing. And each of them is unique, including within the qualification process.
At Paris 2024, the equestrian ballet has a stage that suits the magnificence and elegance of the dressage - the Chateau de Versailles.
But before they ride for the medals, find out the answers to the main questions about the dressage qualification process for Paris 2024
How many athletes will compete in dressage at Paris 2024?
In dressage there will be two medal events at Paris 2024: the individual and team competitions.
There will be a maximum of 60 athletes per event (for men's and women's) taking part in the competition, with a maximum of one per NOC for the individual competition or three per team for the team competition.
All of them will fight for the medals against the amazing backdrop of the gardens of Chateau de Versailles.
To be eligible for the competition, athletes must be born on or before 31 December 2006 (no younger than 18 years of age in the year that the Olympic Games take place), while all horses participating in the Olympic Games Paris 2024 must be born on or before 31 December 2016 (no younger than eight years of age in the year that the Olympic Games take place).
What is the dressage qualification pathway to Paris 2024?
As the host nation, France has three quota places available in the dressage competition. However, the rest of the NOCs and pairs (athletes and horses) will need to navigate their way through a challenging qualification process before reaching Versailles.
Team qualification process
A total of 15 NOCs will take part in the team competition (three pairs of athlete-horse per team), one of those being the host nation. The other 14 teams will secure their quotas through FEI Olympic Group Qualification Events, which are as follow:
- One quota (max. the pairs athlete-horse): host nation.
- Six quotas (max. 18 pairs athlete-horse): the six highest ranked teams from the 2022 FEI Dressage World Championships, in August 2022, excluding the host country team.
- Three quotas (max. nine pairs athlete-horse): the three highest ranked teams from the 2023 FEI European Dressage Championship from FEI Olympic Groups A and/or B excluding teams already qualified as host nation and through the World Championship.
- One quota (max. three pairs): the highest ranked team from the Group C 2023 FEI Olympic Qualification Event, excluding teams already qualified.
- Two quotas (max. six pairs): the two highest ranked teams from FEI Olympic Groups D and/or E at the 2023 Pan American Games, from the 26 to the 29 October 2023, excluding teams qualified as above.
- One quota (max. three pairs): the highest ranked team from the Olympic Group F at the 2022 FEI Dressage World Championships (6-14 August 2022), excluding a team qualified as above. If the quota place is not filled at the 2022 FEI Dressage World Championships, the quota place will be allocated to the highest ranked team from the Olympic Group F at a 2023 Group F FEI Designated Olympic Qualification Event (dates & location TBD if applicable).
- One quota (max. three pairs): Same principles as above with Group F, but with group G.
To find out about the individual quota, go here.