Tag Archives: Olympic Games

Elizabeth Juliano Establishes Human Sport Science and Medicine Challenge for Olympic Preparation

Elizabeth B. Juliano of Havensafe Farm.

Gladstone, NJ – July 29, 2015 – The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is pleased to announce a new fundraising effort, the “Elizabeth B. Juliano & Havensafe Farm Human Sport Science and Medicine Challenge,” to help prepare the United States Equestrian Team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Juliano will match contributions, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000 with the goal to raise $200,000 to implement the program. Gift commitments of $10,000 or more made by November 30, 2015 are eligible for the challenge and may be paid over a two-year period (2015 and 2016). All donations are tax deductible.

Juliano is an accomplished dressage rider, high performance dressage horse owner, USET Foundation Trustee and Chair of the Development Committee, all of which reflect her leadership and extraordinary commitment to this country’s United States Equestrian Teams.

The money raised will support the United States Equestrian Federation’s pilot program for Human Sports Science and Medicine (HSSM), which is vitally important in preparing riders for the upcoming Olympic Games where every detail of the preparation will be critical to success. The Equine Sports Science Medicine (ESSM) and HSSM personnel will be working together in a conjoined approach which will allow riders to improve their preparation for and performance at Rio 2016 as well as other Championships by working on their imbalances and injury prevention. The program will interact with riders’ trainers and SSM personnel so all support provided is coordinated with a focus on performance. Further information on the Program will be released to athletes and other key stakeholders by the USEF once the final details are in place.

For more information on the USET Foundation and the Elizabeth Juliano and Havensafe Farm Human Sport Science and Medicine Challenge, contact Bonnie Jenkins, Executive Director, at (908) 234-1251.

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.

The USET Foundation has been awarded Charity Navigators’ highest honor, a Four Star rating for good governance, sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Olympic Equestrian Test Event Marks One-Year Countdown to Rio 2016

Lausanne (SUI), 13 July 2015 – The Olympic Equestrian Test Event – the Aquece Rio (“Warm Up Rio”) International Horse Trials – gets underway on 6 August, a day after celebrations in Brazil to mark the one-year countdown to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Representatives from 16 National Federations, including athletes and officials, will travel to the Olympic Equestrian Centre in Deodoro to take part in the Observers Programme which runs concurrently with the Test Event.

Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden and the United States of America will all be sending delegations to Rio next month.

All five Technical Delegates will be present at the Test Event: Tim Randle (Veterinary), Jacques Van Daele (Dressage), Alec Lochore (Eventing), Santiago Varela (Jumping) and Amanda Bond (Para-Equestrian Dressage), along with John McEwen, Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee, and the FEI Sports Directors of the three Olympic disciplines: John Roche (Jumping), Trond Asmyr (Dressage) and Catrin Norinder (Eventing).

The Test Event will also be attended by 12 International Technical Officials and a large team of National Technical Officials, with the second group including FEI Stewards, Dressage scribes, judging assistants and Eventing Cross Country officials.

The CIC2* competition, which will be contested by local horses, features a Cross Country course designed by Pierre Michelet (FRA), the man responsible for the championship track at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy last year.

The Warm Up Rio event allows for the testing of a wide range of components prior to the 2016 Games, including technological aspects such as results, scoring and timing, the Field Of Play (both the Main Arena and Cross Country), training arenas, stabling operations, sanitary and biosecurity procedures, spectator flows and management, accreditation and media operations.

Anti-doping processes will also be tested, with human and equine sampling being conducted during the event. FEI Vet Committee member Colin Roberts will oversee equine testing, while Peter Whitehead, Chair of the FEI Medical Committee, will oversee human testing systems, as well as assessing medical facilities.

The event also allows for comprehensive testing of the footing in both the Main Arena and on the Cross Country. Christian Bauer, the footing advisor appointed by the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, and Professor Lars Roepstorff, the international footing specialist from a scientific perspective, will both be in attendance. In addition to the horses contesting the CIC, a small group of Jumping horses will be brought in to test the Main Arena footing.

“As equestrian is one of the first major test events for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games it will play an important role in establishing the Organising Committee’s systems and processes,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender said. “The test event is a vital stage in the preparations to assess operational readiness, and a huge amount that needs to be tested will be tested.

“There are still some areas that will have to be tested between now and Games time, such as accommodation for athletes, grooms and National Olympic Committees. Another aspect that won’t be tested next month is the arrivals and departures process for horses, as we only have national horses at the test event, but Rio 2016 has an expert and hugely experienced team in place led by Peden Bloodstock which flies horses all over the world, including in and out of Brazil, so we are confident that this process is in safe hands.”

FEI Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 45

IOC Sports Director Speaks on Olympic Agenda 2020 at FEI Sports Forum

IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell (far right) pictured with the chairmen of FEI Olympic disciplines (from left): Frank Kemperman, Dressage; Giuseppe Della Chiesa, Eventing; and John Madden, Jumping. Photo: FEI/Germain Arias-Schreiber.

Lausanne (SUI), 27 April 2015 – The second of the morning sessions at the FEI Sports Forum was dedicated to Olympic Agenda 2020, with IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell addressing delegates on Agenda 2020 and its relevance to the FEI.

The IOC Sports Director likened the process that the FEI is currently undergoing with its review of formats for the Olympic disciplines, to the process that the IOC has gone through with Agenda 2020. “It’s timely that we could join you while you’re focusing on the evolution of your sport, as we are on a similar pathway that the IOC and the Olympic movement have been on for the past 18 months,” he said in his opening remarks.

“The reasons you’re going through this process are similar to the reasons why we’ve gone through the process of Agenda 2020. We need to embrace change and be a driver of change, not a passenger, and we are moving forward with a completely holistic review of the IOC and the Olympic Movement.

“We have a fantastic relationship with the FEI. It’s a constructive and very open one, and it’s a relationship based on partnership, with an open and constructive dialogue.”

Kit McConnell addressed the key elements of Olympic Agenda 2020, highlighting four areas: maximizing engagement of the youth audience; achieving gender equality and promotion of women’s sport; increasing universality; and increasing the popularity and value of the Olympic Games.

On gender equality, the IOC Sports Director stressed that the IOC is working with International Federations to achieve 50% female participation in the Olympic Games and to stimulate women’s participation and involvement in sports by creating more participation opportunities at the Olympic Games. This involves encouraging the inclusion of mixed-gender team events and aiming for an equal gender balance across the Games as a whole.

“The FEI has been fully compliant with this for many years, but your International Federation is in a fairly unique position,” he said, before informing delegates that the numbers for equestrian in London were 122 men and 77 women. Across all sports at the 2012 Games, there was 44.4% female participation, with a goal of 46.1% for Rio 2016.

“Equestrian was an outstanding success in terms of ticketing at London 2012, with over 98% of all tickets sold across the three disciplines,” he said.

Strong media coverage of equestrian across all platforms at London 2012 also featured in the presentation. In broadcast, Jumping was well ahead of the other two disciplines in terms of hours of coverage, but Dressage was the most popular discipline online and in print media coverage.

He stressed that it is equally important for the IOC to embrace its traditions and history as it is for each of the sports in the Olympic Programme, and to look at how to embrace those traditions and make them a strength. He spoke of the unique nature of equestrian sport with the combination of horse and man, the passionate global community and the diversity between the disciplines. He also referred to the iconic locations used for equestrian sport.

“Not every sport can go to the places you can go to, where you can showcase your sport and the host, and engage spectators. It’s very valuable and very special for the sport.”

Winding up his presentation, Kit McConnell said: “The IOC values our partnership with FEI and its stakeholders and we are committed to a close working relationship with FEI.”

FEI President Ingmar De Vos was next to take to the lectern. “We are really excited by the reforms and recommendations of the Olympic Agenda 2020,” he said, “and see it as an invitation to continue a process that the FEI had already set in motion prior to the Agenda 2020 reform process.”

The FEI President spoke of gender equality in equestrian sports as “one of the key assets of our sport and a value which we are very proud of”. He also referred to the FEI’s proactive stance regarding the involvement of the Federation in delivering the Olympic Games, creating a new position within the FEI for a Director of Games & Championships which was filled by Tim Hadaway, Equestrian Sports Manager at the London Olympic Games.

“By doing this we recognised the need for more involvement and support from the International Federation to the Organising Committee in order to deliver the Games the best way possible, and this before the Olympic Agenda 2020 was established. I sincerely believe that the International Federations need to take their responsibility because in the end it’s our sport, and while the responsibility of the Organising Committee ends after the event, we need to go on and preserve our legacy.”

The FEI President then spoke about the guiding principles of the evolution of the Olympic Programme. Alongside gender equality, he highlighted increasing Games popularity and value, maximising engagement of the youth audience and increasing universality.

“I believe this is a very clear message from the IOC to the International Federations about what they have to focus on and I am happy to say that we share these principles. This is also what we have identified and one of the main reasons that we are here together at the FEI Sports Forum.”

Referring to the IOC Sports Director’s presentation around television, internet and press figures for equestrian sport, the FEI President said: “He made it very clear to us that these will be, more than ever before, the parameters on which sports will be evaluated for the future Olympic Programmes. We need to understand that these are also the parameters that become more and more important in our own sport.”

On the potential revision of formats, the FEI President talked on the two general proposals across the three Olympic disciplines: making a clear differentiation between team and individual competitions and the proposed removal of the drop score to fulfil the universality and excellence elements of Agenda 2020.

“I want to reiterate that the values of our sport are paramount in all these discussions and it’s not about changing for the sake of change,” he said. “We have our traditions, our values and our identity, but this does not mean we have to be conservative. It’s about finding the right balance and implementing the right changes without losing the essence of our sport. We need to ask ourselves, is equestrian sport too complicated for television viewers and spectators with no equestrian background? Is it global enough? Are competition formats simple to understand and exciting enough to encourage new fans?

“If our ultimate goal is modern horse sport for the modern era, then we need to address all these questions.”

In the question and answer session that followed, the issues of social media, universality, risk, International Federation groupings and revenue distribution from the Games were all debated, prior to the discipline specific sessions later in the day.

The FEI online platform is open for continued discussions on all topics raised at the FEI Sports Forum here.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 45

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 33

Change to Tokyo 2020 Equestrian Venue Approved

Lausanne (SUI), 27 February 2015 – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board yesterday stamped its approval on a change of venue for the Tokyo 2020 equestrian events.

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee presented the change to the IOC Executive Board at its meeting in Rio (BRA) as part of the Tokyo 2020 venue master plan following the FEI’s approval of the switch last month.

The main equestrian site will now be at Baji Koen, the Japan Racing Authority owned facility that hosted the Tokyo 1964 Olympic equestrian events. Baji Koen will host the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Dressage and Jumping disciplines, as well as the Eventing Dressage and Jumping phases.

The Eventing Cross Country phase remains at Sea Forest, also known as Umi no Mori, in Tokyo Bay. Olympic rowing, canoe sprint and mountain biking will also be staged at Sea Forest.

Under the Organising Committee’s original plans, the main equestrian venue was at Dream Island on Tokyo Bay. The switch to Baji Koen puts equestrian sport right back in the centre of the Olympic cluster and the use of an existing facility is also in line with the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations on both costs and sustainability.

In Tokyo’s original bid, 33 per cent of the venues were using pre-existing facilities, but the changes announced yesterday have increased that to 50 percent, less than three months after the Agenda 2020 recommendations were unanimously approved by the IOC in Monaco last December.

According to the IOC, the combined savings resulting from venue changes to equestrian, basketball and canoe slalom will slash USD 1 billion from the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee’s construction budget.

“The FEI has been working very closely with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, visiting all venues and carefully considering all options, and we are very impressed with both the Baji Koen and Sea Forest sites,” FEI Director Games & Championships Tim Hadaway said.

“We were more than happy to agree to a venue change that helps Tokyo stay in line with the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said, “and especially as Baji Koen is a beautiful public park that will make a spectacular venue for the 2020 Olympic equestrian events and keeps our sport right at the heart of the Games.

“We celebrated 100 years in the Olympic movement in London 2012 and with Tokyo 2020 in our sights, our focus is firmly on providing a strong legacy for equestrian sport in Japan. We are looking forward to putting the spotlight on our sport in Tokyo.”

For more information on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, visit http://tokyo2020.jp/en/ & www.olympic.org/tokyo-2020-summer-olympics.

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 45

Extension of Application Deadline for Press Accreditation for Rio 2016 Olympic Equestrian Events

Lausanne (SUI), 25 February 2015 – The FEI would like to inform all specialised equestrian written and photographic press wishing to secure accreditation for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games that the deadline for applying through the FEI has been extended to Friday, 6 March.

Media who have been unable to obtain accreditation through their National Olympic Committee should contact the FEI Press Relations Department by email (malina.gueorguiev@fei.org).

Applications sent to the FEI should provide full contact details of the media outlet, including email, mobile telephone number and website, comprehensive information regarding its circulation and/or the number of unique visitors per month, and outline in detail the coverage planned for the Rio 2016 Olympic equestrian events.

Media who have applied through the FEI will be informed whether their application has been successful directly by the IOC.

The FEI is aware of the high media interest for the 2016 Olympic equestrian events. Although the final decision on the allocation of Olympic accreditations does not rest with the FEI, the FEI will do its best to assist specialist photographers and journalists in the accreditation process for Rio. We are happy to answer any queries you may have.

Media contact:

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
Email: malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 133

2012 Olympic Notes from the Foundation for the Florida Horse Park

On behalf of the Foundation for the Florida Horse Park and the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park, we wish great CONGRATULATIONS to board member Karen O’Connor and Mr. Medicott for being named to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Eventing Team.

Karen has been a dynamic supporter and adviser to the park for many years, and we are so proud and thrilled to cheer her on in London.

Keep up with this dynamic duo through NBC www.nbcolympics.com, london2012.com/equestrian and the O’Connor Event Team www.oconnoreventteam.com.

Go, Team USA… and go get ’em Karen O’Connor and Mr. Medicott!

Summer Best
FOUNDATION for the Florida Horse Park, Inc.
Executive Director
11008 S. Hwy 475
Ocala, FL 34480
(352) 875-4428
email Summer Best

2012 US Olympic Equestrian Team Preview

Lexington, KY – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) named its 2012 Olympic Teams in Dressage, Eventing, and Jumping. The USEF will field three full teams in the disciplines of Dressage, Eventing, and Jumping. These teams are comprised of a mix of veterans and rookies, men and women from across the country with 17 Olympic Games between them. Seven men, six women. Eight geldings, three mares, two stallions.


Jan Ebeling (Moorpark, CA) on Amy Ebeling, Beth Meyers, and Ann Romney’s Rafalca
Tina Konyot (Palm City, FL) on her own and John Byrialsen’s Calecto V
Steffen Peters (San Diego, CA) on Four Winds Farm’s Ravel

Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, ID) on Peggy Thomas’ Wizard

Continue reading 2012 US Olympic Equestrian Team Preview

Saudi Arabia’s First Female Olympian Addresses IOC Women and Sport Conference

Dalma Rushdi Malhas, Saudi Arabia’s first female Olympian, addressing the fifth IOC Women and Sport conference.

Lausanne (SUI), 26 February 2012 – Dalma Rushdi Malhas, who made history by becoming the first Saudi female athlete to compete on the Olympic stage when she rode at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010, was amongst a high-profile group of speakers who addressed the recent IOC Women and Sport conference in Los Angeles (USA). The 20-year-old, who won individual bronze in Singapore, spoke of her hope of gender equality in all sports.

“I cannot yet compare myself to the riders of the Saudi First Team, but I am determined to give my best to reach their level one day, and prove that all women athletes, all over the world, should be given equal opportunities,” she said.

Twenty-four hours earlier, Malhas had received the loudest applause of the day after being invited onto the stage by IOC Executive Board member Nawal El Moutawakel of Morocco. Malhas, and then her mother, were brought on stage to demonstrate that female athletes from the Middle East can make their mark on the international sporting arena.

Continue reading Saudi Arabia’s First Female Olympian Addresses IOC Women and Sport Conference

FEI President Looks Forward to Another 100 Years of Equestrian Sport in Olympic Movement

Sweden's Carl Bonde and Emperor won the individual Dressage gold on home ground in Stockholm at the 1912 Olympic Games.

Lausanne (SUI), 22 February 2012 – The London 2012 Olympic Games marks 100 years of equestrian sport in the Olympic movement, and FEI President HRH Princess Haya is looking forward to celebrating the centenary at Greenwich Park this summer.

“We are really proud to be celebrating 100 years of Olympic equestrian sport at the London 2012 Games and it’s wonderful that we will be doing that at an iconic venue like Greenwich Park right in the heart of the Games,” FEI President HRH Princess Haya said today.

“Greenwich Park is the second largest venue in London 2012 and tickets for the Cross Country were one of the fastest to sell out. Demand has been so high for our sport that tickets for all the equestrian disciplines were sold out in a matter of weeks, establishing us as one of the most popular sports in the Games.

Continue reading FEI President Looks Forward to Another 100 Years of Equestrian Sport in Olympic Movement

Two More Teams Qualify for London 2012 Olympic Games Eventing

Lausanne (SUI), 19 August 2011 – France and Sweden qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games as a result of their placings in the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships 2011 team competition. France finished in silver medal position on a score of 151.10 and Sweden placed fourth (199.20). Germany, the leading nation at the Championships, had already achieved Olympic qualification. Bronze medallists Great Britain are automatically qualified as next year’s Olympic Games host nation.

Five countries had secured their Olympic participation at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 in Kentucky: Canada, New Zealand, USA, Germany, and Belgium. These added to the host nation and the two countries qualified this weekend bring the number of Eventing teams qualified to date for London 2012 to eight.

The next event for direct team qualification is the Asia Pacific Eventing Championship which will take place at Blenheim (GBR) from 8 to 11 September and which is open to teams from the Olympic Groups F (Africa and Middle East) and G (South East Asia and Oceania). The best placed team at this event will qualify.

The Asia Pacific Eventing Championship will be followed by the Pan American Games to be held in Guadalajara (MEX) from 14 to 29 October. The two best placed teams from Olympic Groups D (North America) and E (Central and South America), excluding the USA and Canada, will secure participation in London.

Continue reading Two More Teams Qualify for London 2012 Olympic Games Eventing