Host City: Atlanta, United States
Date Started: July 21, 1996
Date Finished: August 4, 1996
Participants: 217 (151 men and 66 women) from 30 countries
Youngest Participant: Takeshi Shirai (19 years, 106 days)
Oldest Participant: Fausto Puccini (63 years, 265 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 5 athletes with 2 medals
Most Medals (Country): Germany and United States (4 medals)
All of the 1996 equestrian events were held at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia, 50 km (30 miles) east of Atlanta. This facility was built in 1991, and since the 1996 Olympics the area around it has become very built up and the park is now used mostly for conferences and concerts.
One concern in 1996 was the effect on the horses of the extreme heat of the southern United States summer, mainly in the eventing endurance phase. The Organizing Committee took significant measures to prevent the horses from overheating. The endurance course distance was reduced from 26,950 metres to 19,695 metres, and the event was started at 0700. Mesh covers were placed over large portions of the course, to block direct sunlight, and misting stations wet and cooled the horses at several locations. There were multiple veterinarians and ambulances available, but due to the precautions, there were no major injuries to the horses.
The program consisted of the standard six events of individual and team events in dressage, eventing, and show jumping. Germany was the dominant nation, winning four of the six events. They won no other medals and were matched in total medals by the United States, although they did not win any events. The Netherlands and New Zealand won three medals, as eight nations won medals. The only one of these that was not a traditional horse nation was Brazil, which won a bronze medal in team jumping.