Green light for equestrian events at Rio 2016

  • Rio is certain to host the equestrian events at the 2016 Olympics, after fears last month that the country would not be ready.

    Rumours circulated in October that the equestrian events might have to take place outside the host country after it was revealed that the equine health certificate needed by Brazil still hadn’t been finalised.

    “If the problem is not resolved by the end of the month, we run the risk of not having the event in Brazil,” said Luiz Roberto Giugni of the Brazil Equestrian Federation. “We are running late.”

    This is due to strict quarantine laws involving travelling horses from Europe, the US and Canada.

    However, the FEI confirmed that an agreement has now been reached between the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture and the EU, which means that the horses competing at the Olympic Games will be able to travel to and from Brazil without any trouble.

    The Rio 2016 Olympic equestrian action gets underway on 6 August at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in the Deodoro Olympic Park.

    “Brazil is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world and, just like the equestrian community, the Brazilian people are vibrant and welcoming”, said Pedro Veniss, who was part of the Brazilian Jumping team at the 2008 Olympic Games.

    “Our melting pot of cultures in Brazil and in our sport is very exciting. As a Brazilian equestrian athlete, I am so proud that we are staging the first Games in South America and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

    IOC President Thomas Bach FEI HQEarlier this week International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach (pictured, right) expressed his delight at the moves the FEI was making to conform to the Olympic Agenda 2020.

    The idea is to produce “attractive, modern, TV- and spectator-friendly sports” to create a “new generation of fans”.

    “It is impressive to see how compliant the FEI and equestrian sport already are with many of the recommendations”, President Bach said. “We have targeted gender equality as a key goal of Agenda 2020 and equestrian sport has always been at the forefront on this, with men and women competing against each other for the medals.

    Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic movement since 1912 and the growth of the sport has been phenomenal, but it is good to know that the FEI was already working on a number of these areas, including good governance and a full review of the competition formats, even before we rolled out Agenda 2020”

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    FEI president Ingmar De Vos added: “We see it as an invitation to continue on the path we are already on to grow and develop the sport, a launch pad to further improve our sport and make it relevant in the modern sporting climate. We are confident that we tick many of the Agenda 2020 boxes, and we’re working hard to add the tick to the missing ones. We are pushing the boundaries, while respecting the traditions of our sport.”

    For an exclusive interview with Ingmar De Vos don’t miss the current issue of H&H — out earlier this week (Thursday, 5 November).

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