August 7, 2008

The Tropical Cyclone battering Hong Kong has been downgraded to a "number three", with winds of 40-60km/h prevailing.

Horses and riders have been unable to train in the conditions, but there were only minor reports of damage at the equestrian facilities at Sha Tin where they are stabled.

Several riders were unable to leave their hotel to go to the stables.

There are still 24 horses to arrive, with members of several teams stranded in Dubai and The Netherlands because of the weather.

Temporary structures at the Sha Tin grounds have been dismantled for fear of destruction in the winds.

The ground jury's inspection of the cross country course at the Beas River Golf Club was delayed because of the rain, but little disruption is expected to the events in the coming days.

Two reserve days are included in the schedule and it is possible the two days of dressage will be compressed into one. The dressage starts at 10.30am (NZT) on Saturday. The cross-country is on Monday at Beas River, and the showjumping phase is on Tuesday.

Despite the downgrade of Tropical Storm Kammuri, the public is still advised to secure all loose objects, and to stay away from the shoreline and water sports.

• None of the Olympic equestrian horses in Hong Kong have been affected by the heavy rains and winds brought in by Severe Tropical Storm Kammuri, a spokesman for the Equestrian Company said.

"The horses have taken advantage of the wet weather and are resting peacefully in the stables. Many are sleeping and in very good condition," the spokesman said.

Training in the outdoor areas has been postponed, but all arenas reopend when the No. 8 weather signal was lowered.

Only slight damage to venue dressing in the Sha Tin Equestrian Venue has been reported.