Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California
Date Started: August 7, 1984
Date Finished: August 7, 1984
Format: Two rounds. Four rider teams. Best three scores in each round determined team total. Separate competition.
The United States was favored, and had the hottest show jumper of the last few years in Melanie Smith, the 1982 World Cup Champion, and Joe Fargis, the individual gold medalist. They were so strong that the 1983 World Champion, Norman Dello Joio, was not even selected for the team. Other favorites included France, which had won the 1982 World Championships, and the always strong West Germany and Great Britain teams.
The US led in the first round with only 4.00 faults, as Smith went clean, as did Fargis. Unfortunately, Smith’s horse, [Calypso], was injured at the end of his ride and could not start the second round, which gave the US only three riders, so they could not afford a bad effort. They did fine. Fargis had another clean ride, for a perfect score, and Conrad Homfeld also went clean. [Leslie Burr] had 8.00 faults in round two, giving the US the best score in the second round to win the gold medal by the largest margin in a “real” Olympic competition since 1956 (discounting the 1980 junior varsity events).
Great Britain came in as a strong medal contender and proved their worth by winning the silver medal. They were tied for third in round one, trailing West Germany, and equal with Canada, but Britain had the second best score of round two, with only 12.75 faults, and moved just ahead of West Germany, which won the bronze medal narrowly over the Canadian team.