Malina Gueorguiev of the Federation Equestrian Internationale (FEI) shares this news today:
The human and animal kingdoms may be enjoying a quiet summer / winter weekend, depending on the hemisphere, but it is a key one for the horses taking part in the equestrian events of the 2008 Olympic Games. Indeed, on Friday 25 July the first horses left from Europe (Amsterdam, NED) and the North American continent (Atlanta, USA) on three flights to Hong Kong.
All 33 horses - coming from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Korea, the Netherlands, and Switzerland - accompanied by 15 attendants arrived in fantastic form to begin their acclimatisation. All the horses behaved properly on the flights and travelled very well.
The disembarkation process of the horses, their attendants and the vast amount of equipment that was flown in ran extremely smoothly. The horses underwent preliminary tests immediately upon arrival and were declared to be remarkably well. They were in the stables less than two hours after landing. So, while human passengers were still queuing to have their passports checked and collect their luggage, the horses were enjoying a good roll in the shavings.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club and FEI veterinary teams will continue to closely monitor the horses to ensure they remain healthy.
The horses will now undergo a ten-day Post-Arrival Isolation during which training is possible.
Two-hundred and nineteen horses will be flown to Hong Kong for the Olympic equestrian events over 13 days. The last ones are due to arrive on 6 August.