Paris Olympics 2024 News: Equestrian World Secures Two More Qualifier Spots for Dressage Competition

Published 01/12/2024, 9:15 AM EST

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The FEI had disallowed the Russian and Belarusian equestrian athletes from competing in any of the Olympic qualifier events. In the wake of this decision, the lineup of equestrian participants at the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics was dwindling. To make matters worse, both Brazil and South Africa could not secure their respective berths after a glorious campaign in 2023. Just when it seemed like the equestrian events at the 2024 Paris Olympics would be lacking in diversity and excitement, Portugal and Finland swooshed in with a good omen.

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Portugal and Finland become equestrian saviors for the 2024 Paris Olympics

Brazil could not secure their Certificate of Capability even after scoring 67% twice in three combinations between the qualifier dates. This was the second Olympic Games in a row that the country encountered this mishap. South Africa had the Group F team qualification in the bag until Gretha Hausmann-Ferreira’s horse was injured. Things looked bleak until Portugal and Finland were able to leverage the empty slots and fulfill the eligibility criteria. However, the official news of their election into the 2024 Paris Olympics dressage roster did not come from the FEI website. Instead, the individual national equestrian federations confirmed their qualification via their website and an exclusive update on Eurodressage.

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The Portuguese Olympic Committee announced, “Team Portugal’s qualification follows the reallocation of vacancies operated by the FEI… The qualification of the Dressage team means that Portugal will take three riders to Paris 2024, who will participate in both the team competition and the individual event”. Jutta Koivula, sports director of the Finnish Equestrian Federation, also remarked on the surprising circumstances, but his take on the matter was one of surprise for obvious reasons.

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Finland earns Olympic qualification after three decades

Koivula happily reflected on their equestrian triumphs in the major competitions in 2023 that earned Finland the qualification. Despite years of hard work, the Finnish riders could not secure the spot. Koivula said, “the last time we had an Olympic dressage team in dressage was in Seoul in 1988”. As part of a happy coincidence, the Finnish riders had the appropriate points to qualify despite falling short of victory in the 2023 European Championships.

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Jutta Koivula saw it as a good sign that the whole Finnish dressage team could participate as a group. He issued a challenge to the other participants who have gold aspirations in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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Written by:

Anchal Ahuja

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One take at a time

I am Anchal Ahuja, an Olympic Sports writer at EssentiallySports. My love for sports grew when I first watched Olympics when I was 7-years-old. Growing up as I started to delve deeper into the sporting realm, I decided to move on with my new passion with all new hopes to get success.
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Edited by:

Sampurna Pal

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