From Avril Doyle, President, Equestrian Federation Of Ireland
EFI is alarmed and concerned at the conclusions of the Olympic Programme
Commission report which was presented to the International Olympic
Committee (IOC) Executive Board on 28 August 2002 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The commission was in charge of reviewing the Olympic Programme
and presented recommendations on the programme of the 2008 Olympic
Games in Beijing.
sports and five disciplines were recommended for exclusion from
the Olympic programme, among which was the equestrian discipline
of Eventing, considering the costs for venue preparations and operations
for the Games OC, and the issue of safety of athletes and horses.
FEI, however, has conducted a thorough study on the discipline of
Eventing, consulting with a number of specialists inside and outside
the sport to effect changes in safety both of the riders and horses
and has also worked with the IOC to significantly reduce the costs
of staging the discipline for the OC.
Ireland has had a long tradition of success in this discipline of
the sport, both in the quality of its riders and in Irish-bred horses,
we feel that to exclude it from the 2008 Olympics would deal a serious
blow to both Ireland¹s long tradition of equestrian excellence,
and to the equestrian industry here in general.
are particularly concerned at the Commission¹s recommendations,
in light of the fact that Beijing was allocated the Games under
the conditions that all sports and disciplines present in Athens
will also be making our views on the matter known to Olympic Council
of Ireland President Pat Hickey, and asking that he raise the matter
at the agm of the OCI on September 18, and at both European and
World Olympic level on our behalf.