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London Olympics 2012 promises equestrian legacy

A London Festival of the Horse and a plan to get more Londoners riding are among the British Equestrian Federation’s (BEF) proposals to provide a lasting equestrian legacy from the 2012 Olympic Games.

“This is not a directive from the London Olympic Games Organising Committee (LOCOG), but an initiative of our own,” said BEF chief executive Andrew Finding. “A number of people expressed their concern about a lack of equestrian legacy for London and this goes part way towards recognising that.”

The recommendations are the result of a year’s work by a group chaired by former Olympic bid leader and event horse owner Barbara Cassani. The group included Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) chairman Julian Marczak, show jumper Tim Stockdale, Blenheim Horse Trials director Mike Etherington-Smith and BEF facilities consultant Tim Hadaway.

They include the creation of — as yet unspecified — new riding facilities in the capital, creating a “London Horse Network” to improve communication between the region’s riders, the establishment of a London schools programme, and creating a “London Festival of the Horse” in a central London park.

Read this news report in more depth in the current issue of Horse & Hound (22 March, ’07)

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