Beijing 2008: Hong Kong to host Equestrian Events
Through constructive negotiations held during the 117th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Singapore, the IOC, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) and the Beijing Organising Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) have agreed on the relocation of the equestrian events from Beijing to Hong Kong for the 2008 Olympic Games. The move is based on the best interests of the competition and the wellbeing of the horses.
Wonderful Olympic Equestrian Competition
“The IOC is pleased to announce the venue for the equestrian event during the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games has now been finalised. We are confident there will be a wonderful Olympic equestrian competition in Hong Kong,” said IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Hein Verbruggen. “The agreement on the location for the equestrian event means the locations for all Beijing 2008 competitions have now been finalised, allowing for progress in all areas of Games preparation,” said Verbruggen.
The relevant stakeholders will jointly establish a working group that will determine the long-term and positive legacy for equestrian sport in China. This group will develop an equestrian training and competition facility, which will be located within a newly created disease-free zone and will be able to host international events.
This will not be the first time that equestrian events will be held on the territory of another NOC. In 1956, the equestrian events of the Melbourne Games were held in Stockholm, Sweden, due to the quarantine problems affecting horses entering Australia at that time. The Games were also played at two different time of the year with the events in Melbourne taking place in November and December and those in Stockholm in June.
Equestrian sport at the Olympic Games
Equestrian events were included in the Olympic programme for the first time in 1900 in Paris. Since 1912, in Stockholm, the format of the events has remained very similar to the one used in the 2004 Athens Games. The three Olympic equestrian disciplines are jumping, dressage and eventing (three-day event).