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Dressage is an ancient sport in which horses move and maneuvre in response to the commands of the rider. Its origins lie in the military training of the cavalry for battle. One of the first treatises on the subject was by the Greek general Xenophon (430 – 354 BC), who based his writings on the works of an earlier author.[1] Dressage has been featured in the Olympic Games since 1928.

Mitt Romney's wife Ann Romney owns the German-born dressage horse Rafalca. Rafalca competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics with rider Jan Ebeling, but failed to reach the individual medal round.

Great Britain padded its medal total with two gold medals in the individual and team events in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Despite positive responses by the British public regarding all medal successes, dressage has had difficulty in winning over the public.[2]

As well as being a discipline in its own right, Dressage also forms part of equestrian eventing, along with cross-country and show jumping.

Some people believe dressage is a joke sport.


  1. A Brief Outline of the History of Dressage artisticdressage.com, Dr. Thomas Ritter, originally published in Topline Ink Magazine, copyright 2008, retrieved August 10, 2012
  2. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19180865