We are in an Olympic year of course and equestrians all over the world will be looking towards Paris in a couple of months.

The last Olympics, in Tokyo, was delayed a year because of the Covid pandemic of course, but back in 1956 there were different difficulties to surmount for the horse riding fraternity.

Melbourne was the chosen host city for the 1956 Games, but the equestrian events fell foul of Australia’s strict six-month pre-shipment quarantine on horses. Despite strong lobbying, the Australian authorities refused to make an exception for the Olympics, making it impossible for the events to be staged there.

Instead, the 1956 dressage, eventing and show jumping events all took place in the Stockholm Stadium, Sweden and, of course, Horse & Hound was there to cover things, including a string of photographs on its front cover on June 23 1956.

The events were held in the stadium that staged the 1912 Olympics and attracted huge interest, not least from the British Royal Family, with the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and other members all in attendance as Great Britain took gold in the team eventing competition.

Horse & Hound’s comprehensive report on this unique Olympics can be found here.

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