This is how the sport is fighting for its future at the Olympics

WWhat happened last weekend at the World Eventing Championships was forward-looking in several respects. On the one hand, 25-year-old Brit Yasmin Ingham, one of the youngest riders in the field, won the individual title. For her and her horse Banzai du Loir, participation in the World Championships, which took place near Rome in the Pratoni del Vivaro equestrian center, was the very first start at a championship in international top sport. Together they proved with their surprising victory that they are fit for even bigger tasks, such as the Olympic Games in Paris 2024.

That the equestrian sport It's no secret that he has to fight for his future in the Olympic program with his disciplines dressage, jumping and eventing. At the Tokyo Games, a horse was seriously injured in a cross-country trial and was euthanized. A jumping horse bled heavily from the nostrils while completing the course. These are not news and pictures that the representatives of the sport like to send out into the world.

However, it is important to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that a discipline arouses enthusiasm and lures people in front of the screens. That's why a forward-looking visitor was announced at the Eventing World Championships: IOC President Thomas Bach formed his own picture of the sport, which has been part of the Summer Games since 1912. The World Equestrian Federation FEI quoted Bach in a statement after his visit as saying: "I am very impressed with the many measures that the FEI has taken to protect the welfare and health of the horses and I am pleased with everything that the International federation is doing to secure the future of sport.”

IOC President speaks to representatives

Bach watched the entire cross-country test on Saturday and took a lot of time to talk to representatives of the FEI and to talk to the riders, Dennis Peiler, sports director of the German Equestrian Association, told the FAZ "It wasn't a flying visit. We perceived his visit as very appreciative.” The IOC President saw the sport from its beautiful and spectacular side. Now one hopes that these impressions will be taken into account with a view to the whereabouts of equestrian sports at the Olympic Games, said Peiler.

One thing is certain: in 2024 in Paris, equestrian sport with its sub-disciplines of dressage, jumping and eventing will be Olympic. Riding is also included in the program for 2028. What happens after that is unclear. On the other hand, it is clear that Germany will be able to take part in all three teams in the French capital and then with a fourth at the Paralympics. The dressage, show jumping and paradressage riders took their chance to qualify for the Olympics at the World Championships in Denmark in August.

The German eventing riders with Michael Jung (middle) are happy after the gold medal in the team competition.

The German eventing riders with Michael Jung (middle) are happy after the gold medal in the team competition.

Image: dpa

The eventing riders are now following suit in Italy. On Sunday, the team of national coach Peter Thomsen won the gold medal with Sandra Auffarth with Viamant du Matz, Michael Jung with Chipmunk, Julia Krajewski with Amande de B'Neville and Christoph Wahler with Carjatan. Krajewski, Tokyo Olympic champion, also secured individual silver.

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