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64OLYMPIC REVIEWSPORTSPROFILES

For latest news go to www.horsesport.org or www.olympic.orgOLYMPIC REVIEW65In the eventing competition,Britain's Leslie Law (below) wasawarded gold following adecision by the Court ofArbitration for Sport (CAS) topenalise Bettina Hoy ofGermany, who had initially wonthe gold medal, for havingcrossed the start line twicebefore the beginning of herrace. The decision meant thatKimberly Severson of the USAwas upgraded to silver andPippa Funnel also of GreatBritain to bronze.The penalty points awardedto Hoy also costGermany the teamtitle and France wasdeclared the gold medalwinner. The individual dressagewas won by Anky vanGrunsven, of the Netherlands,on Salinero, while Germanytook gold in the team event.In jumping, the individualwinner, Ireland's CianO'Connor of Ireland wasdisqualified by the FEI JudicialCommittee following thepositive medication caserelating to the presence ofprohibited substances in hishorse Waterford Crystal andRodrigo Pessoa of Brazil(pictured below) on Baloubetdu Rouet was declaredindividual Olympic champion. In the teamcompetition, the USA were awardedgold after German rider Ludger Beerbaum wasdisqualified following a positivemedication case involving his horse. The Olympic equestrianism event will be stagedin Hong Kong and not Beijing because this wasfelt to be in the best interests of the competitionand the well-being of the horses.Chariot racing and horse riding were part ofthe ancient Games and the idea of includingequestrian sport in the Olympic programme hadbeen raised when the first modern OlympicGames were being planned for 1896 in Athens.However, due to organisational problems, it onlymade its first appearance at the Games of the V Olympiad in Stockholm in 1912. Sixty-twocompetitors, all military, from ten nations with70 horses took part in Jumping, Dressage andEventing competitions. Up until 1948 only military officers couldcompete but between 1948 and 1952, the sportunderwent a radical change. In 1952, not onlymen who were civilians were allowed to enter,but for the first time in Olympic equestrianhistory four women took part in the Dressagecompetitions on equal terms with the men. Equestrian sport is the only sport whichinvolves two athletes: horse and rider. Therelationship and mutual respect built upbetween the two is the key to a successfulpartnership. It is also one of the very few sportswhere men and women compete on equalterms at all levels in all disciplines. Left: Heinrich von Moers of Germanycompetes at the 1912 Games in StockholmFORMATJumping, Dressage and Eventing are theequestrian disciplines at the Olympic Games withindividual and team events. Consequently, sixsets of medals will be competed for next summerby 200 riders - 50 in Dressage, 75 in Jumpingand 75 in Eventing - and 200 horses. A numberof countries have already booked their place asthe first qualifying competition was the FEI WorldEquestrian Games in Aachen, last summer. Thesport will feature on 12 successive days, startingon the first morning of the Games.VENUEThe Equestrian events will be held at the HongKong Sports Institute, the Shatin Racecourse,Penfold Park, Beas River Country Club, and partof the adjacent Hong Kong Golf Club. HongKong is renowned for its equine care facilitiesand medical services for horses and while fourfootball venues are being used outside ofBeijing for qualifying matches, equestrianism isone of only two sports not in the city at all - theother being sailing, which is being held in theseaport at Qingdao.CONTENDERSRiding Salinero, the horse which brought hersuccess in dressage in Athens, theNetherlands' Anky van Grunsven was crownedworld champion in the Kür (Freestyle to Musictest) in Aachen last summer. In jumping,Belgium's Jos Lansink willbe looking to take his goldmedal success in Aacheninto Hong Kong where oneof the favourites in eventingwill probably be royalty. Zara Phillips, of GreatBritain, the Queen's granddaughter, won theworld title in 2006 with a superb performanceHer mother, Princess Anne, The PrincessRoyal, a former FEI President, also competedin eventing at the 1976 Games in Montreal.But before these talented riders can defendtheir titles and fight for the greatly covetedOlympic gold, they and their horses still need to qualify for Hong Kong.Above: Anky van Grunsven of the NetherlandsBelow: Britain's Zara Phillips ATHENSREVIEWEQUESTRIAN