FEI president hails 'best ever Olympics'

Cian O'Connor with bronze medal

London 2012 has been hailed as “the best ever” Olympics for equestrian sport.

HRH Princess Haya, president of the Federation Equestre International, also confirmed that the sport enjoyed a clean Games after all human and equine samples taken during competition at Greenwich Park were negative.

British riders topped the equestrian medal table, winning showjumping and dressage team gold, while Charlotte Dujardin was also crowned individual dressage champion, Laura Bechtolsheimer won a bronze in the same competition and Britain’s eventing team took silver.

“The London 2012 equestrian events were really incredible and Greenwich was a wonderful venue,” Princess Haya said.

“We could not have wished for better sport, and we now have a whole new fan base, which has to be the best legacy we could ask for.

“We owe a huge debt of thanks to the whole LOCOG team, but particularly to the equestrian competition manager Tim Hadaway and venue general manager Jeremy Edwards and their teams for all their devotion to the cause, and, of course, to all the wonderful volunteers.

“These were the best Games ever for equestrian sport.”

More human and equine testing took place at London 2012 than at any previous Olympics.

All medallists’ horses were tested, plus all fourth-placed horses, while random testing was also carried out, with horses being picked by computerised selection.

For human testing across the Games, all top four finishers plus two other athletes selected at random were tested by the International Olympic Commission, along with other individuals selected at random.

Princess Haya added: “We had a clean Youth Olympic Games, a clean FEI World Equestrian Games and now we’ve crowned it with a clean Olympic Games in London.

“We knew that fair play and clean sport was the only way to produce top sport in the Olympic equestrian events, and we are very proud that we have achieved that goal.

“The fact that all human and equine samples came back negative demonstrates the success of the FEI Clean Sport campaign, which has resulted in a major reduction in the number of positives in the Olympic disciplines over the past two and a half years.

“We had a rigorous and comprehensive testing programme in place.

“These were the most tested Games ever, and we also tested for more substances than ever before.

“We worked hand in hand with the Horseracing Forensic Laboratory in Newmarket, and we thank them for the speed with which they processed all the Olympic samples so that we could maintain a level playing field throughout the Games.”

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