Equestrian fans have expressed frustration after results of the London 2012 ticket ballot were announced.
In a survey carried out by H&H, 64% of respondents said they had not got any of the equestrian tickets they applied for, leaving them disillusioned with the entire process.
“I know there’s no way everyone could have been left happy, but a system where everyone got at least two tickets would have been fairer than some people getting thousands of pounds worth and others getting nothing,” said reader Claire Curry, who drew a blank after applying for 16 tickets.
“Like many people, I couldn’t afford to hedge my bets by buying a large number of tickets in case they all came through,” added Clare Smith, after discovering that none of her four applications was successful.
“I think the whole thing is a farce,” said reader Karen Burfoot. “It’s weighted towards those who can take the [financial] risk to get all the tickets they apply for.
“It really could have been organised in a better and less stressful manner.”
And in a further blow to equestrianism at the Games, H&H has learnt from organiser LOCOG that crowd capacity for cross-country day has been scaled down to 55,000 from a previously planned figure of between 75,000-80,000 (news, 12 February 2009).
A LOCOG spokesman said: “We’ll have more of an idea after the test event [in July] and we are hopeful that we can increase the capacity, but 55,000 is the number we are currently working to as we’re still doing our crowd modelling and venue checks.”
The spokesman would not speculate about how much capacity could increase by.
So what does all this mean?
Are there any equestrian tickets left?
Despite the disappointment, a significant number of those we surveyed — 44% — said they would reapply for tickets in the second ballot.
But this is dependent on there being equestrian tickets left, something LOCOG was unable to confirm, saying that a breakdown of ticket sales would not be carried out until Friday, 10 June at the earliest.
“Equestrianism has been very popular,” admitted a spokesman, adding that details of the second ballot are unlikely to be announced until the end of June.
She went on: “We are still contacting successful ticket applicants whose payments we haven’t been able to process — owing to card issues and so on — but this should be sorted out by 24 June when everyone will know what they’ve got.
“The second-round ballot will be announced then, with priority being given to those who have already applied.”
In an email sent out to all applicants about the second ballot, there is no mention of equestrianism among the sports listed.
This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (9 June, 2011)