Equestrian at the Rio 2016 Olympics: All you need to know

Eventing - two gold medals
Olympic Games on the BBC
Venue: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Dates: 5-21 August Time in Rio: BST -4
Coverage: Watch on BBC One, BBC Four, Red Button and up to 24 HD video streams on mobile, desktop and connected TVs, plus follow on Radio 5 live and via live text commentary.

How does it work?

A three-phase competition, eventing is the triathlon of the horse world, requiring athleticism for the dressage, strength and boldness for the cross-country, and agility and accuracy for the jumping. There is an individual and a team competition.

Teams must now have no more than four riders - in London it was five.

Who are the favourites?

Germany have won both team and individual gold medals at the past two Olympics, and will be tough to beat. Defending champion and world number one Michael Jung seems a stride ahead of everyone else at the moment and recently completed the rare feat of a Grand Slam - although team-mate Sandra Auffarth edged him for gold at last year's World Championships.

What about the British prospects?

William Fox-Pitt is a former world number one and three-time Olympic medallist but has only just returned from a serious head injury suffered in a fall last October. Pippa Funnell was a late call-up but has won medals at both her previous Games.

When is it on?

Eventing runs from 6-9 August.

I didn't know that...

At the 1936 Olympics, Czech rider Otomar Bures took two hours and 36 minutes to complete the five-mile cross-country course, for which the time limit was 17 minutes and 46 seconds. He incurred more than 18,000 penalty points.

Previous British medallists

Nineteen (five gold, seven silver, seven bronze)

Highest British position

Individual golds were won by Richard Meade in 1972 and Leslie Law in 2004, while Britain have won team gold on three occasions. At London 2012, the team claimed silver.

Dressage

How does it work?

Sometimes described as ballet for horses, riders demonstrate their control of the horse as they walk, trot and canter through a series of prescribed movements. Those who qualify for the final phase perform a choreographed routine to music of their choice. There is an individual and a team event.

Teams can now be up to four riders - it was three at London 2012.

Who are the favourites?

The biggest challenges to Great Britain will come from the Netherlands and team world champions Germany, whose stable is set to include world number one Kristina Broring-Sprehe and five-time gold medallist Isabell Werth.

What about the British prospects?

Great Britain had never won an Olympic dressage medal before London 2012, where they came away with both golds. World and European champion Charlotte Dujardin will be defending her individual and team titles, with her mentor Carl Hester also returning.

When is it on?

The dressage event runs from 10-12 as well as 15 August.

I didn't know that...

Until 1952, you had to be an officer and a gentleman to compete in Olympic dressage. But since Germany's Liselott Linsenhoff became the first female Olympic individual dressage champion in 1972, just one male rider has won solo gold.

Previous British medallists

Three (two gold, one bronze)

Most recent British golds

2012: Charlotte Dujardin (individual), Dujardin, Carl Hester & Laura Bechtolsheimer (team)

Jumping

How does it work?

Jumping (sometimes called show jumping) is the easiest to follow of the equestrian events. Rider and horse must jump a series of obstacles within a set time and without knocking any down - or else they incur penalties. The individual event consists of five stages, the team competition is two stages.

Who are the favourites?

The Netherlands lost to Great Britain in a jump-off at London 2012 and are the world champions. France, whose team includes world number one Simon Delestre, and the USA are well represented at the higher end of the world rankings, while Germany will also be contending.

What about the British prospects?

With an average rider age of 52, the British team cannot be said to lack experience. Nick Skelton and Ben Maher were part of the team that won gold in London 2012 but Skelton's Big Star has since had injury problems. Brothers John and Michael Whitaker, who both made their Olympic debuts in 1984, complete the British line-up.

When is it on?

You can catch jumping on 14, 16, 17 and 19 August.

I didn't know that...

Show jumper Humberto Mariles won Mexico's first-ever Olympic gold at the 1948 Games - despite the fact his horse Arete was blind in one eye.

Previous British medallists

Ten (two gold, three silver, five bronze)

Most recent British gold

2012 - Scott Brash/Hello Sanctos, Peter Charles/Vindicat, Ben Maher/Tripple X, Nick Skelton/Big Star (team event)

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