Early plans revealed for ‘most spectacular’ Paris 2024 equestrian venue

  • The equestrian venue for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games has the potential to be “one of the most spectacular” as preparations continue apace.

    FEI director of Games operations Tim Hadaway shared the latest vision for the 2024 Games at the 2021 FEI general assembly (17 November).

    The equestrian events will be held in the spectacular grounds of Versailles, with the 17th palace forming the backdrop to the main arena.

    “It will of course be a temporary equestrian venue and the arena will be at the end of the grand canal, stretched out in front of the palace,” said Mr Hadaway.

    “The cross-country course will run around the park through beautiful tree-lined avenues and all being well, even across the grand canal itself, again with the broadcast images of the palace in the background.”

    The stabling, training areas, veterinary facilities and “all the usual back-of-house facilities” will be on site.

    “The grooms will be located on the venue in a newly built hotel, just on the perimeter of Versailles park,” Mr Hadaway added. “We expect the modus operandi to be broadly similar to London 2012, with teams being able to arrive just a few days before competition and keeping the stay to a minimum.”

    The Paris 2024 Olympics run from 26 July to 11 August, the Paralympics from 28 August to 8 September.

    “We are reverting to the traditional [Olympic] timetable, with eventing due to run first over the first weekend of the Games, followed by dressage and jumping intertwined, which enables us to slot in the usual rest days for each of those two disciplines,” Mr Hadaway said.

    “We’ve already been working with the teams in Paris for the last two or three years. At the moment, the organising committee are focused on appointing that team who will be specifically responsible for organising and delivering the equestrian events at Versailles, Paris.”

    The process to appoint the eventing course-designer started last week and the team hopes to confirm the position “this side of Christmas”. The footing specialist and jumping course-designer roles are likely to be confirmed “through the first part of next year”.

    “For me, and I think for many of us, it has the potential to once again be one of the most spectacular venues of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Mr Hadaway said.

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