Hoey Criticizes BBC at European Dressage Launch
Hoey MP, the former Minister for Sport, has criticized the BBC for
their lack of coverage of equestrian sports during a reception to
launch the 2003 European Dressage Championships, to be held at Hickstead
in August. Commenting on the refusal of the BBC to cover the event,
she said "There are millions of follows and participants in
all branches of equestrian sport who have a right to expect a public
broadcast service to pay more attention to minority sporting activities.
Britain has succeeded in getting this major event for the UK and
it would be very short sighted for the BBC to let the opportunity
pass of showing and supporting sport at this world class level".
Director, Dane Rawlins, confirmed that arrangements were in place
for broadcasting from the Championships. "Satellite up-links
and facilities for overseas broadcasters are already attracting
European television companies and it is a huge disappointment that
the BBC have declined to cover the event," he said.
support has been forthcoming from UK Sport. "The £180,000
of Lottery funding that UK Sport is investing in the Championships
is a significant contribution," said John Scott, Director of
Major Events at UK Sport. "This is the second major event that
we have supported the British Equestrian Federation with following
the success of the European Show Jumping Championships in 1999.
UK Sport is keen to see Olympic sports showcased on home soil and
we are determined to use this opportunity to stimulate the development
of dressage in this country."
40 nations have been issued with invitations to the Championships
and approximately 20 nations are expected to send team and individual
competitors to contest the coveted European title. Reigning champion,
Ulla Salzegeber, plans to defend her title with her horse, Rusty,
who she described as being on top form following his recent World
extra support from the home crowd is expected to lift the British
team performance and their chances of success, particularly in their
attempt to qualify for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The European
Dressage Championships will be the last opportunity for teams to
qualify for a place at the Games.
information is available on the website www.edc2003.com.
Tickets are available from Ticketmaster on 0870 0602328 (24 hours),
at all Ticketmaster ticket centres including selected Virgin Megastores
and Tower Records Stores nationwide. Book online at www.ticketmaster.co.uk.
For Group bookings call 08705 94 94 94 94.