Australia refused to relax their six-month horse quarantine rule for the 1956 Olympics, leading to Sweden hosting the equestrian events. Sweden won three gold medals and Germany won the most equestrian medals ever.
Australia received its first Olympic Games in 1949, but in the years leading up to the 1956 event in Melbourne, a complication began to develop. Participating nations found they would have to quarantine horses involved in equestrian events for six months before they could compete. The International Olympic Committee has asked the Australian authorities to relax their strict rules, but they have refused. The IOC decided that the only option was to stage the equestrian events elsewhere, eventually leading to Sweden hosting the dressage, eventing and jumping competitions in June 1956, followed by the rest of the Olympic events taking place in Melbourne at November.
Sweden comes to the rescue:
Stockholm was chosen to host the equestrian events during an IOC vote in 1954: Stockholm won by 25 votes, beating Paris by 10, Rio de Janeiro by 8, and Berlin and Los Angeles by 2 votes each.
Knight Hans Wikne lit the Olympic cauldron in Stockholm while on horseback, a first for the Games. Another Olympic twist: the horses were part of the opening parade.
Twenty-nine nations entered the equestrian events, with Sweden winning three gold medals, the most of any nation. The United Team of Germany took home the most equestrian medals ever, with two golds, three silvers and one bronze.