Rio’s equestrian plans taking shape for 2016

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Rio's National Equestrian Center is being expanded and refurbished for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Rio’s National Equestrian Center is being expanded and refurbished for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is putting its own spin on the Olympic legacy by having two Olympic parks for its 2016 Games.

rio-2016-bThe Barra Olympic Park will host nine sports and the Deodoro Olympic Park will stage eight.

But of most interest to equestrians is the Deodoro Cluster, where the horse sports will take place at Brazil’s National Equestrian Centre.

Thanks to the 2007 Pan American Games, more than half of the Rio 2016 venues are already built, and the equestrian center is no exception. It is used daily by the Brazilian Army Equestrian School, but is being refurbished and expanded for 2016.

For the Olympics, its seating capacity is 20,000, and for the Paralympics, some 14,000 spectators can be accommodated.

Test events at Rio will run from August 2015 to April 2016.

The shortlist for tenders for the role of eventing course designer, which was announced at the FEI’s General Assembly last year, is Derek Di Grazia (USA), Mark Phillips (GBR), Pierre Michelet (FRA), and Rűdiger Schwartz (GER).

Located in the western part of Rio, the Deodoro Zone is home to Brazil’ largest military barracks and Latin America’s largest military concentration,with 60,000 servicemen and women located in the region. Train lines connect Deodoro to the city centre, other parts of the suburb and the rest of Rio.

As well as the equestrian sports, Deodoro will host the cycling (mountain bike and BMX), modern pentathlon, shooting, canoeing (slalom), hockey and fencing. For the Paralympics, it will be home to shooting, equestrian and wheelchair fencing.

Cross-country at the National Equestrian Center.
Cross-country at the National Equestrian Center. © Alexandre Loureiro

 

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