Tag Archives: Olympic Games

Para-Equestrians Get Grant Boost for London 2012

Gold standard: Britain’s Lee Pearson (GBR), MBE OBE has become a Paralympic icon with nine Paralympic gold medals to his name (pictured at Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games)

Lausanne (SUI), 25 July 2011 – Para-Equestrians bidding to compete at the London 2012 Paralympic Games can now apply for funding as part of a brand new grant scheme to help with training expenses.

Eurovestech plc, the pan-European development capital fund, has put up a €25,500 grant to support 15 equestrian athletes around the world as they prepare for London 2012.

The grants, which will be distributed by the FEI, will be available to riders who have not won medals at the Paralympics, World Championships or World Equestrian Games since 2004.

National Federations representing Para-Equestrians from smaller nations where funding is limited are urged to apply for the grants. The grants are available both to riders who compete on their own horses and those that compete on borrowed horses.

Interested riders should contact their National Federation with their competition and training plans before 15 August 2011.

“It’s great news to hear of this initiative as the IPC is keen that a great number of athletes get the opportunity to compete at the London 2012 Paralympic Games across all sports, including Para-Equestrian,” explained Chief Executive Officer of the International Paralympic Committee Xavier Gonzalez.

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Greenwich Test Event Hailed a Huge Success

The London skyline provided the perfect backdrop to this week's Greenwich Park Eventing Invitational (CIC**) - the equestrian test event for the 2012 Olympic Games. Photo: FEI Photo Catalogue.

London Prepares Series (GBR), 7 July 2011 – Greenwich Park in London (GBR) is a much quieter place today as the runners and riders, supporters, officials and most of the staff who helped create a magical atmosphere during this week’s test event have departed from the site where the equestrian Olympic Games will take place in 2012.

The Greenwich Park Eventing Invitational (CIC**) has already been hailed a huge success, but after a week of hectic activity, and three days of intense competition, it is now time to reflect in the aftermath.

The lasting memory for those lucky enough to be there this week is the sound of the excited school-children screaming with delight as they witnessed top-class horse sport at close quarters for the very first time.  For the hardened professionals, both in the saddle and on foot performing their various essential tasks, it was a heart-warming experience.

A generation of young people, who would otherwise never be exposed to the sport, were curious, enthralled and intrigued by what they saw, and they’ve shaken the foundations of a sometimes conservative world.  They’ve reminded us all that horse sport isn’t just about equine talent and rider skills.  It’s also about fun and entertainment, about embracing the partnership between man and horse and presenting it in a whole new light to a world of people who, given the opportunity, will learn to love it.

There is a sense right now that the equestrian events at London 2012 could mark the beginning of a whole new era, and how timely that will be for equestrian sport which celebrates its centenary as part of the Olympic movement next year.

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Greenwich Park Eventing Invitational (CIC**)

New Zealand's Mark Todd pictured presenting Viscount George, the ride of his fellow-countryman Andrew Nicholson, at the first horse inspection for the Greenwich Park Eventing Invitational (CIC**). Photo: Peter Llewellyn/FEI.

Biographies of all competing riders can be found here: http://goo.gl/tqVqx.

EXCITING BUILD-UP TO OLYMPIC TEST EVENT by Louise Parkes

London Prepares Series (GBR), 3 July 2011 – There was a huge buzz of anticipation and excitement as the first horse inspection for the Greenwich Park Eventing Invitational (CIC **) got underway in London (GBR) this afternoon at the first LOCOG test event in the build-up to London 2012.

Over the next three days, the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games will test key aspects of the Greenwich logistics and operations in preparation for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the field of play, timing and scoring technology, venue installation and workforce.

A total of 40 riders from 23 countries will take part in the Greenwich Park Eventing Invitational, which offers the normal grading points for an international CIC**, and which will involve Dressage tomorrow (Monday 4 July), Cross-Country on Tuesday and two rounds of Jumping on Wednesday in order to reflect the Olympic format.

There will also be demonstrations of the other Olympic equestrian disciplines of Dressage and Jumping, along with Para-Dressage to further test the facilities.

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In Memoriam: Henri Chammartin (SUI), 1918-2011

Henri Chammartin (SUI) and Woermann during their winning test at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games

Lausanne (SUI), 2 June 2010 – Olympic and European Dressage champion Henri Chammartin (SUI) passed away this week at the age of 92. A legend in the Dressage world, he competed in five consecutive editions of the Olympic Games – Helsinki 1952, Stockholm 1956, Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964, and Mexico 1968 – winning a total of five medals.

During his first Olympic participation in 1952, Chammartin was a member of the Swiss team that claimed team silver. He received his second Olympic medal – a team bronze – in 1956.

Henri Chammartin became Olympic champion in 1964 and also won his second team silver that year. He rode the 13-year-old Swedish-bred Woermann which had travelled to Tokyo only as a reserve horse to his stablemate and reigning European champion Wolfdietrich, which was unfortunately lame.

Tokyo 1964 was the first Olympic Games to which horses were flown by aircraft. The Swiss team departed from Amsterdam on 28 September at noon and arrived, with a stop-over in Anchorage, Alaska, on 29 September at 3pm.

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In Memoriam: Bill Roycroft (AUS)

Lausanne (SUI), 31 May 2011 – Australian equestrian legend James George “Bill” Roycroft OBE passed away on Sunday 29 May at the age of 96.

Bill Roycroft was one of Australia’s greatest Olympians and one of only five Australians to have competed in five consecutive Olympic Games.

His Olympic début was in Rome in 1960 where he helped secure Australia’s first-ever equestrian medal – team gold in Eventing.

He went on to compete in three Summer Olympics with his sons. In Tokyo (1964) he competed with his eldest son Barry, in Mexico City (1968) he was joined by Wayne where they won bronze together and in Munich (1972) he competed with youngest son Clarke. In Montreal (1976) he secured bronze with Barry and Wayne, becoming Australia’s oldest Olympic medallist and competitor at 61 years and 31 days.

Bill Roycroft became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1969 for his service to sport, and was awarded an Order of Merit by the Australian Olympic Committee in 1978 for his outstanding achievement in sport.

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London 2012 Olympic Equestrian Timetable Announced

Lausanne (SUI), 15 February 2011 – The London 2012 Olympic equestrian timetable has been announced by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG). London 2012 will mark the 100th anniversary of equestrian sport in the Olympic movement.

The Olympic Opening Ceremony on 27 July will be followed by 12 days of equestrian competition, with the world’s best athletes competing for six gold medals in the Olympic disciplines of Eventing, Dressage and Jumping. The equestrian events all take place at the stunning Greenwich Park venue. Britain’s oldest Royal Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Greenwich Park is just 12 minutes from the main stadium.

Eventing opens the Olympic equestrian events on 28 July with two days of Dressage, followed by Cross-Country on 30 July and two rounds of Jumping on 31 July to decide the Team and Individual medals.

Dressage gets underway on 2 August with two days of Grand Prix competition, which forms the first qualifier for both the Team and Individual. The top seven Teams and 11 best-placed Individuals go forward to the Grand Prix Special on 7 August, which will decide the Team medals. The Freestyle to Music to decide the Individual medals takes place on 9 August.

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Todd Flettrich Views World Equestrian Games as a Great Stepping Stone toward Future Goals

Todd Flettrich and Otto had a great showing in the FEI Dressage Grand Prix at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Photo © 2010 Susan J. Stickle

Lexington, KY – October 8, 2010 – Todd Flettrich and his grand prix mount Otto were recently a part of the United States Dressage Team that competed during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Lexington, KY. The pair finished with a great score in the FEI Grand Prix and Flettrich left Kentucky happy with his consistent results and a fun experience riding for his country.

Flettrich considers it a great honor to have been a part of the United States Team at this year’s WEG, and believes the competition was a positive stepping stone toward his future goals. Flettrich has made it his main goal to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London and feels that his horse and his riding show improvement with each international competition.

During WEG, Flettrich showed first for Team USA on the opening day of dressage competition with his mount Otto, a 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Cherry Knoll Farm. The pair finished in the 38th position out of the world’s very best horses and riders.

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FEI Awards – “One in 1.3 Billion Rider” Encourages Equestrian World to Send Nominations

Alex Hua Tian, Chinese Olympic Eventing rider and winner of the FEI's 2009 HSBC Rising Star Award (photo: Kit Houghton)

10 August 2010 – China’s first Olympic Eventing rider Alex Hua Tian is urging the equestrian community to make its nominations for the five-category 2010 FEI Awards.

Hua Tian, whom the Chinese media dubbed the “one in 1.3 billion” in the run-up to the Beijing 2008 Olympics, won the FEI’s HSBC Rising Star Award last year. The award rewards a rider aged between 14 and 21 who demonstrates significant talent and outstanding commitment. The judging panel, chaired by FEI President HRH Princess Haya, selected Hua Tian for his riding skills and the unwavering dedication that enabled him to cope with intense press scrutiny and pressure before and during the 2008 Olympic Games.

“I was deeply moved to have been nominated by my instructors, Nicola Ward, a New Zealander who, with her Irish Husband, John, taught me in Hong Kong when I was eight years old and by Tamara Weal, who taught me in England when I was 11,” said Hua Tian. “I am sure that in every Pony Club, Riding Club or community there must be many outstanding young riders, who would be hugely inspired to have their passion and dedication encouraged by being nominated for the FEI Awards. I know I was.”

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Edwina Alexander Diary for HorsesintheSouth.com & AHorseBlog.com

EdwinaAlexanderEdwina Alexander is writing a diary for HorsesintheSouth.com as she prepares for the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Geneva from 14-18 April 2010. Here is Edwina’s first entry.

Could you describe a typical training day?

I normally wake up at 7.00am and I am in the stables by 8.00am ready to ride the horses. Every day is a little bit different but on average I ride between 6 to 8 horses each day, and I will keep riding until 1.00pm. I’ll start riding again between 2.00pm-4.00pm. I then spend some time in the office in the afternoon catching up with emails, organising travel arrangements for upcoming shows, sending videos to clients. I feel more relaxed if I know exactly what’s going on!

How have you been keeping busy since your Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series win in Vigo?

I kept Socrates (Cevo Socrates) and Itot (Cevo Itot Du Château) busy in the lead up to Gothenburg, where they both jumped well. Since Gothenburg they have both had a break from showing which has included one easy day during the week, some hacking in the woods, dressage and a bit of a lunge in the afternoon. I have been to Australia since Gothenburg but they have both been kept active with some small jumps work.

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Isabell Werth Interview for HorsesintheSouth.com & AHorseBlog.com

Isabell Werth is writing a diary for HorsesintheSouth.com as she prepares for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games from 25 September-10 October. Here is Isabell’s first entry.

Could you describe a typical training day?

Since my son Frederik’s birth last year the day now starts with him! I then start with the horses at around 9.00am and I can ride about seven horses per day. The rest of the day is now usually based around the stable business and Frederik.

How many horses do you have at the moment?

At the moment we have around about 40 horses under the saddle, so my whole team is very busy!

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