Lord Coe praises “exceptional Olympic equestrian event”

London Games organising committee chairman Lord Sebastian Coe addresses the FEI General Assembly via video link.
London Games organising committee chairman Lord Sebastian Coe addresses the FEI General Assembly via video link.

The head of the London Olympics has congratulated the FEI and its president, Princess Haya, for an “exceptional Olympic equestrian event”.

Lord Sebastian Coe, who chaired the London Games organising committee,  described equestrian competition as “one of the great Olympic sports”.

Lord Coe, who was elected as the new chairman of the British Olympic Association this week, addressed the FEI General Assembly in Istanbul, Turkey, via a video link.

“It would be remiss of me not to immediately congratulate the FEI President and all her team for helping us to deliver just an exceptional Olympic equestrian event,” he said.

“Our opportunity to bring the sport into the city centre was one that we wanted to grasp with both hands and I want to thank Princess Haya and her board for helping to do that in such an extraordinarily successful way.

“To have Greenwich Park, a park of historical importance anywhere in the world, but, within that park, to be able to stage one of the great Olympic sports, was really for me the icing on the cake.”

Coe also complimented the FEI on the clean drug-testing results on horses and riders.

“Fair play starts at the very top of an organisation, so if a sport comes out of a major Games being able to turn to the world and say that we delivered, to the best of our knowledge, a clean event, this is a very important vote of confidence, both in the sport, in the hierarchy of the sport, clearly the competitors, and an important message more broadly for young people, that this is a sport that does not tolerate performance enhancing drugs.

“My lasting and overarching message and one suffused with eternal gratitude, and particularly to Princess Haya, is the extraordinary help and collegiate work that was done together to deliver what I think was arguably one of the greatest Olympic equestrian events in the heart of a community.

“We wanted to inspire a generation, particularly a generation who may never have experienced a particular sport before and I think we met that ambition.”

The video message was relayed to 252 delegates from 80 National Federations that attended the FEI General Assembly, which involved four days of meetings.



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