8 July 2005 - Through constructive negotiations held during the 117th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Singapore, the IOC, the F¨¦d¨¦ration Equestre Internationale (FEI) and the Beijing Organising Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) agreed on the relocation of the equestrian events from Beijing to Hong Kong for the 2008 Olympic Games. The move is based on the best interests of the competition and the well-being of the horses.
ˇ°The IOC is pleased to announce the venue for the equestrian event during the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games has now been finalised.ˇ± said IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Hein Verbruggen. ˇ°We are confident there will be a wonderful Olympic equestrian competition in Hong Kong. The agreement on the location for the equestrian event means the locations for all Beijing 2008 competitions have now been finalised, allowing for progress in all areas of Games preparation,ˇ± continued Verbruggen.
Commenting on the agreement, FEI President HRH the Infanta Doña Pilar said: ˇ°BOCOG has assured us that it will provide the best conditions for the riders and horses in Hong Kong. This has always been our main objective. We are confident that BOCOG and Hong Kong will ensure the stage is set for excellent equestrian competition in Hong Kong, during the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games.ˇ±
Speaking on behalf of BOCOG, Executive Vice-President Wang Wei commented: ˇ°We are delighted that the best possible solution for the Beijing 2008 equestrian competition has been found. We believe that it is in the best interests of the competition and the health of the horses and we are convinced that the Hong Kong venue will enhance the quality and the excitement of the Games in 2008. BOCOG will work to ensure the athletes, officials, media and spectators in Hong Kong know that they are an integral part of the Beijing Games.ˇ±
In his role as President of the Hong Kong NOC, Timothy Fok said: ˇ°Hong Kong is delighted to have this opportunity to contribute further to the Olympic Movement. Supporters of equestrian sport can rest assured that we will do everything we can to host them in the best possible way. While working hard to welcome the equestrian competition, we will also ensure that our own athletes continue to experience the best possible training conditions for their preparations for the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games.ˇ±
The relevant stakeholders will jointly establish a working group that will determine the long-term and positive legacy for equestrian sport in China. This group will develop an equestrian training and competition facility, which will be located within a newly created disease-free zone and will be able to host international events.