Today I read Xenophon’s On Horsemanship and Hipparchus and, looking at the introduction of each book, I found interesting information about the add of equestrian to the classical Olympic Games, and I would like to share it with you. Besides, as a Greek and equestrian, I couldn’t fail to write about equestrian and the Olympics, right? 🙂
Equestrian was introduced to the Olympics in the 33rd registered Olympiad, that is about 644 BC (I say “about” because the games took place alternatively every 49 and 50 months, as a period of eight years comprises of 99 moths, which is 96 stable months plus 3 intercalary months). It remained an Olympic sport until the abolition of the games in 393 A.D. by emperor Theodosius I, as a pagan cult.
There were two established equestrian disciplines in the Ancient Olympic Games: chariot racing, where athletes competed over a 14.5-kilometre route, and horse racing where athletes had to race on a 7-kilometre route, on horseback of course.
That’s all I’ve learned today. Do you know any other facts about equestrian in the ancient Olympics? Write in the comments below!