The FEI was “delighted” with the support for its Rio social media campaign – and has urged fans to maintain the momentum for the Paralympics.

FEI corporate communications director Richard Johnson said the campaign had achieved global success, with backing from riders, grooms and the public.

The aim of encouraging use of the #TwoHearts, #JoinTheJourney and #Equestrian hashtags was to engage fans online, to demonstrate equestrian sport’s popularity, as this will have a bearing on its future at the Olympics.

“We do not have all the statistics and numbers available at this stage, but we’ve been delighted with the way that fans, not just within the equestrian community but among the wider public, have embraced Two Hearts and all it stands for,” Mr Johnson told H&H.

Our sport is so unique in its relationship between human and animal, and this was shown time and time again to the wide world through the Olympics. Two Hearts is such a simple concept for people to understand, yet such a powerful message.

“The FEI has worked with our national federations around the world on the campaign, and embraced new social media platforms in Brazil, Russia, China and Japan in their own languages, creating content to extend the equestrian fan base as wide as possible.”

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will assess sports’ popularity as shown during the Games, taking into account media coverage as well as online engagement.

Mr Johnson added: “It’s been inspiring to see the global support for the campaign, from everyday people to Olympic champions, from riders, owners, grooms and all fans of the sport and we hope this will continue through the Paralympics, when Two Hearts takes on perhaps an even stronger meaning, and beyond.”