Touchdown! Britain’s Olympic horses among first flight to land in Tokyo

  • Britain’s Olympic dressage horses have touched down in Tokyo, with just over a week before the first horse will appear in the arena.

    The first full cargo of horses landed in waterfront airport Haneda last night (14 July). Equine stars including Gio, En Vogue, Everdale and Sintano Van Hof Olympia are now installed in their stables and ready for action.

    “To see these horses arriving at Haneda airport is a truly historic occasion, and what makes it even more special is that these are not simply horses, they are Olympic horses,” Tokyo International Airport administrator Takahashi Koji said. “It’s a really big night for the airport, and particularly for the cargo team, and we see it as one of the major milestones of the final countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”

    The first 36 horses will be representing Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and host nation Japan, as well as Britain, and individuals from Brazil, Estonia, Finland, Ireland and Morocco. They were due to be joined by another group of arrivals today (15 July).

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    The horses flew from Liege in Belgium, having spent seven days in quarantine.

    “Like all the athletes arriving into Tokyo for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the horses are honed and ready to compete on the sporting world’s biggest stage”, FEI president Ingmar De Vos said. “After all the challenges the world has faced, finally we’re almost there and now it’s only a matter of days before we hear those magical words ‘Let the Games begin’!”

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