Hong Kong has formally entered into an agreement with Beijing to
host the equestrian events of the 2008 Olympic Games.
The "Arrangement on Equestrian Competition of the Beijing
Olympic Games" was signed by the Beijing Organizing Committee of
the XXIX Olympiad Games (BOCOG) and Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region government yesterday in the host city.
The agreement outlines the basic principles for cooperation
between Beijing and Hong Kong during the buildup to the event.
When Beijing signed the 'Host City Contract' with the
International Olympic Committee (IOC) after winning the rights to
host the 2008 Games, the decision makers didn't select Hong Kong as
"This arrangement stipulates that the items in the 'Host City
Contract' should also be applicable in Hong Kong," said Patrick Ho,
secretary of the Home Affairs Bureau of Hong Kong SAR and also
executive vice president of the Equestrian Committee (Hong
"After a series of discussions with BOCOG, the arrangement will
also take into consideration the special conditions in Hong Kong
and some of the principles were adjusted," Ho added.
According to Ho, the basis of the arrangements includes setting
up a quarantine system that meets international standards,
guaranteeing safety and making it convenient to enter the
With the approval of the IOC and International Equestrian
Federation (IEF), it was announced last July that the equestrian
events would be held in Hong Kong. The Equestrian Committee (Hong
Kong) was established on October 5, 2005.
"Although time is pressing concerning venues and infrastructure
construction, we're confident in fulfilling our commitment to
hosting a successful group of Olympic equestrian events," said
According to Ho, preparatory work in Hong Kong is well under
way. Shatin Equestrian Center, the main arena located at Hong Kong
Sports Institute, is under construction and work on a cross-country
venue in Beas River Country is about to start.
The competition schedule has been agreed and plans for judges,
veterinarians, quarantine arrangements, transportation and
insurance have been confirmed.
Olympic equestrian events, which will run from August 9 to 20 in
2008, comprise three disciplines--dressage, show jumping and
eventing. They'll involve up to 220 horses. Six sets of medals will
be fought for in all the three events, which are both individual
and team competitions.
(China Daily September 1, 2006)