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Her Royal Highness the Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón arrives today in Jerez, the World Equestrian Games' venue, to preside over the FEI's Bureau Meeting

HRH the Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón, president of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), today arrived in Jerez, the venue for the World Equestrian Games 2002, to preside over the annual meeting of the FEI's Bureau.

On behalf of the Games' Organising Committee, Fino, the Jerez 2002 mascot, officially welcomed Doña Pilar to the city in a delightful event devoid of any kind of formality. The International Equestrian Federation president returned the gesture with affection and reciprocal friendliness.

HRH Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón, president of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) today arrived in Jerez, venue for the World Equestrian Games 2002, to preside over the annual meeting of the FEI's Bureau.

Just after half past one in the afternoon, Fino, the official mascot for Jerez 2002, received Doña Pilar on her arrival at the Hotel Jerez, venue for the Bureau meeting. He officially welcomed the president and the members of the International Equestrian Federation to the city on behalf of the Jerez 2002 Organising Committee.

In this, their first meeting, the FEI president, HRH Doña Pilar de Borbón, and Fino, the official mascot, posed for a historic photo that captures Spain's desire to face the challenge of promoting and developing horse riding through the staging of the World Equestrian Games, currently the most important riding event in the world, which will take place in Jerez in September next year.

From Monday 19 to Thursday 22 inclusive, the heads of the International Federation will take part, under Doña Pilar's presidency, in different private working sessions on federation business, but not necessarily related with the staging of the Games in Jerez next year. The fact that the International Equestrian Federation has chosen to hold their annual Bureau in Jerez this year does, however, denote the interest of the top federation body in getting to know the situation of the latest World Equestrian Games being prepared in Jerez.

Although Jerez 2002 will not be taking part directly in Bureau affairs, which will be dealt with "behind closed doors", the Games' Organising Committee has promoted the inclusion in the schedule of an information session about Jerez 2002 for Federation members, including a visit to the works at the Chapín stadium on Wednesday 21.

The fourth edition of the World Equestrian Games will be held in Jerez, Spain from 10 to 22 September 2002. The Games are a top-level sporting event and without a doubt the most important equestrian event in the world today.

Jerez City Hall, Cadiz Council, the Autonomous Government of Andalusia and the Spanish Government via the Sports Council and Horse Breeding Service of the Ministry of Defence, as well as the Spanish Olympic Committee, the Andalusian and Spanish horse riding federations and other institutions and bodies are all involved in the Games project and are represented on the Jerez 2002 Organising Committee.

The World Equestrian Games combine under the same organisational mantle the seven World Championships corresponding to the most important equestrian disciplines regulated by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI). They are: show jumping, dressage, eventing, vaulting, endurance riding, driving and reining. The first three are Olympic disciplines.

The Games are held every four years. The first took place in Stockholm in 1990, the second in The Hague in 1994, the third in Rome in October 1998 and the next will be held in Spain - in Jerez- in September 2002.

By now, after three editions, these "Horse Olympics" have made their mark as a top-flight sporting event and as a date that is a must for the international equestrian community (around 60 countries take part) and for the equine industry.

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