Host City: Beijing, China
Date Started: August 9, 2008
Date Finished: August 21, 2008
Participants: 193 (120 men and 73 women) from 42 countries
Youngest Participant: Luiza Almeida (16 years, 342 days)
Oldest Participant: Hiroshi Hoketsu (67 years, 139 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 7 athletes with 2 medals
Most Medals (Country): Germany (5 medals)
The 2008 equestrian events were all held in Hong Kong, China, at the Hong Kong Equestrian Centre. It was opened in 1982 by Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, when Hong Kong was a British protectorate. The original name was the Jubilee Sports Centre, but it was renamed in 1991 as the Hong Kong Sports Institute. The name Hong Kong Equestrian Centre was used during the 2008 Olympics. The centre is located in the Fo Tan, Sha Tin district of Hong Kong, on reclaimed land on the bank of the Shing Mun River, next to the Sha Tin Racecourse.
Hong Kong was chosen because Beijing could not guarantee a disease-free zone for the horses, but there were significant quarantine and safety measures that still needed to be taken. These included a 60-day pre-export residency in an approved country, compulsory veterinary supervision for 30 days prior to export, 7-day pre-export quarantine, and a 10-day post-arrival isolation with no permitted contact between Olympic and local horses.
The program consisted of the standard six events of individual and team events in dressage, eventing, and show jumping. Nine nations won medals, led by Germany with three golds and five medals in all. No other nation won more than one event, but the United States had three medals, and Canada, Great Britain, and the Netherlands also won two medals.
After the drug problems that had affected equestrian in Athina, Beijing turned out to be worse. There were four doping positives in 2004, and there would eventually be seven in 2008.