British event riders will be heading to Rio this summer to take part in a test competition for next year’s Games.

The event will be held in August as part of Brazil’s preparations to host the 2016 Olympics.

The test will be a two-star event, and is scheduled for 6-9 August. The equestrian events at the 2016 Olympics are due to take place 7-19 August so the test should give riders a feel for what the climate will be like. Average midday temperatures are expected to be 24°C with humidity levels of 66%.

The British Equestrian Federation told H&H that it would be sending athletes and team staff, but that further details would not be decided until the organising committee officially confirms the dates.

In total more than 8,000 athletes are expected to compete in 33 test events.

Delphine Moulin, Rio 2016’s test events general manager, said: “Test events are a vital part of the preparations for staging the Games, providing the opportunity to put all our planning into practice.

“They also present an invaluable chance to integrate the organising committee’s team with the international and national sports federations and government teams, who also have a crucial role to play in the delivery of the Games.”

FEI director of games and championships Tim Hadaway reported at the FEI General Assembly (14 December 2014) that good progress was being made with the facilities at the National Equestrian Centre in Deodoro.

Deodoro Olympic Park will be the second-largest concentration of competition venues next year and will host 11 Olympic and four Paralympic sports. Located in the west of Rio, Deodoro hosted the 2007 Pan American Games and the 2011 World Military Games, so 60% of the permanent venues had already been built.

“Landscaping for the cross-country course is nearing completion and conditioning of the grass footing is under way,” Mr Hadaway said.

“All other aspects of operational planning, including horse import and export, athlete transportation and accommodation, as well as anti-doping and veterinary aspects, show good signs of progress.”

Ref: Horse & Hound; 15 January 2015