How did the World Equestrian Games start? Find out here, and stay tuned for more WEG history every day of competition.
The idea behind the World Equestrian Games was first presented by Prince Philip, then FEI President, in the mid 1980s. The idea was strongly supported, and Stockholm’s 1912 Olympic Stadium was designated for the first WEG held in 1990.
A total of 37 countries participated.
Jumping 75 participants started – 67 completed (26 countries)
Dressage 68 participants (22 countries)
Eventing 84 participants started – 60 completed (22 countries)
Driving 53 participants started – 41 completed (18 countries)
Endurance 81 participants started – 35 completed (19 countries)
Vaulting 61 participants (15 countries)
France, led by Eric Navet on the stallion Quito de Baussy, dominated the show jumping, claiming both Individual and Team Gold. Quito de Baussy was bred by Eric’s father Alain.
But America would create its own equine legend in 1990 with Gem Twist. Owned by Michael Golden, bred and trained by Frank Chapot, and ridden by Greg Best, Gem Twist was honored with the title “World’s Best Horse” after the challenging final competition which tests horsemanship to the limit as the four top riders must quickly adapt to, and sympathize with, horses they have never sat on before.
Nicole Uphoff riding Rembrandt would lead Germany to the Individual and Team Gold in Dressage.
Likewise, Blyth Tait and Messiah would lead New Zealand to claim both Individual and Team Gold in Eventing. Other notables on the team were Andrew Nicholson riding Spinning Rhombus, Andrew Scott on Umptee and Mark Todd with Bahlua.
USA would claim only one Gold medal at the 1990 Games when Becky Hart piloted RD Grand Sultan to Individual Gold in Endurance.
Bruce O. Davidson riding Pirate Lion in Eventing and Team USA with Carrera in Vaulting would be our only other podium placings, both with respectable third place finishes.
For a full list of the WEG 1990 Results check out FEI History Hub.