IOC Confirms Equestrian Sports Remain in Olympics Through 2016 in Rio

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Brazil delegation celebrating selection of Rio de Janeiro for 2016 Olympics.
Brazil delegation celebrating selection of Rio de Janeiro for 2016 Olympics.

COPENHAGEN, Oct. 9–Equestrian sports–dressage, eventing and jumping–will remain in the Olympics through the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed Friday.

The IOC Session held in Copenhagen voted to accept the list of 26 core sports on the program for the Olympic Games in 2016. The vote was part of the procedure that confirmed the addition of golf and rubgy to the Olympic schedule for 2016.

In 2002, the IOC decided to conduct a systematic review of the Olympic program after every edition of the Games to ensure that it remains exciting and relevant.

The Brazilian city, host of the 2007 Pan American Games, was elected as the venue for the 2016 Olympics.

The next Olympics, in 2012, will be held in London with equestrian sports scheduled for Greenwich, on the south bank of the Thames river and six miles from downtown London.

However, the Greenwich venue has run into opposition from community groups and some equestrian interests that complain the site is too small and will allow horses on the grounds for only one discipline at a time with no overlap, provides no legacy for the residents of the urban park and the cost of creating the equestrian venue has skyrocketed to £20 million (US$32 million/€21.6 million) from the original estimate of £6 million (US$9.6/€6.5 million).

Opponents of using Greenwich for the Olympic equestrian events have organized a “Save Greenwich Park” demonstration for Sunday, Oct. 11.

They have suggested the use of Hickstead, former site of the European Championships and an annual premier jumping and dressage show, or Great Windsor Park which was the site of this year’s European Championships in dressage and jumping.