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Paralympic equestrian action ready to launch

September 3, 2008

The Hong Kong public is being urged to get out and support the Paralympic equestrian events, which begin on September 7.

Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing says adjustments have been made to the competition venues and the athletes' village to meet the special needs of the athletes.

Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing and Equestrian Company Chief Executive Officer Lam Woon-kwong brief reporters on the arrangements for the Paralympic equestrian events.
Equestrian Company Chief Executive Officer WK Lam said 73 athletes and 71 horses from 28 countries will compete, while 600 volunteers will help run the events.

There will be nine competition sessions with 2600 tickets for sale for each session, while 2400 have been reserved for educational purposes. About 60% of the tickets available for sale have been sold and 80% of the educational tickets have been distributed to schools.

"Spectators should arrive two hours before the events because there will be security checks," Mr Lam said, adding that the house rules will be similar to the Olympic equestrian events.

The events comprise team and individual Dressage competitions with morning and evening sessions on most days.

Individual riders are required to complete two tests - the Individual Championship Test followed by the Freestyle Test.

Teams of three or four riders from any nation also compete in a Team Test.

Assistant Commissioner for Transport (New Territories) Cindy Law said free shuttle bus services will carry spectators between MTR University Station and Yuen Wo Road outside the venue. They will run two hours before the event until 90 minutes after it ends at five to 10-minute intervals.

Railway services will be adjusted to facilitate people attending the events. The East Rail service will start 2.5 hours before the morning session and end 90 minutes after the end of the evening sessions.

Through the Society for Rehabilitation, the Equestrian Company will arrange 18 specially equipped buses to transport disabled spectators. Wheelchair-bound spectators can book in advance.

Special traffic arrangements will be implemented in Sha Tin during the events. The Transport Department's Emergency Transport Co-ordination Centre will closely monitor the situation.

Chief Superintendent David Ng said security measures for the games will be similar to those of the Olympic equestrian events.

Up to 2200 police will be deployed daily. Although the overall police deployment for the Paralympic events will be scaled down, officers will maintain a high level of vigilance.

Noting there is no evidence suggesting Hong Kong will be a terrorist target during the events, Mr Ng said the threat remains moderate.



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