Olympic Horse Imports for Rio Agreed Between Brazil & Europe

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The 2016 Olympic Games equestrian venue at Deadoro, Brazil.
The 2016 Olympic Games equestrian venue at Deadoro, Brazil.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct. 30, 2015–Brazil and the European Union reached an agreement for Olympic equestrian events to go-ahead as scheduled at Rio de Janeiro next summer, O Globo reported Friday, after what the newspaper described as “a tense month of intense negotiations” over horse import requirements.

The terms of the settlement will be published officially next week, the city’s most prominent newspaper reported, and presented to the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) General Assembly meeting in Puerto Rico Nov. 10-13.

The Brazilian Equestrian Confederation raised the prospect last month that failure to amend the country’s import restrictions could force the three Olympic disciplines of dressage, eventing and jumping to be moved from the Deodoro sports complex an hour outside Rio to another country.

The Pan American Games were staged at the same Deodoro complex in 2007.

O Globo said the owners of horses bred in Europe were dissatisfied with Brazil Ministry of Agriculture requirements for a certificate to allow temporary import of animals. The threat was made public during an international dressage event in Sao Paulo.

The agreement provides for Brazil to accept the same procedures used in Europe.

“Everyone involved in the process is comfortable,” the newspaper quoted  Olympic Delivery Authority, Marcelo Pedroso. “Health safety is preserved, guarded. The event is preserved. It is a solution that meets all involved.”

Three health models will now cover participation of horses in the Olympic equestrian events–one used for the South American economic bloc known as Mercosur, one established by the European Union and a third version, more complicated, written specifically for the Games.

The FEI was reported to have given its blessing to the proposal.