Equestrian Sports are under threat. Accused of being too expensive, elitist and not popular enough, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) is reconsidering their place in the next Olympic games.
The highly anticipated Olympic Games begin today! (Friday 5th August) And these 2016 Rio Olympics are particularly important for equestrians as the IOC has decided to analyse the sport’s popularity: to determine whether or not it will feature in the future Olympic programme.
According to the UK's biggest horse magazine Horse & Hound and France’s prestigious equestrian publication Grand Prix, the IOC will therefore be studying from 29th July-28th August how engaged equestrian sports fans are.
The IOC will be exploring all types of media to construct their analysis: print, broadcast and online coverage; as well as engagement on social media, in order to appraise how widespread the appeal is of each Olympic event.
Both the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and FEI (International Federation for Equestrian Sports) have launched online campaigns with the hashtags #JointheJourney and #TwoHearts.
“Two Hearts” is an FEI initiative to show the beautiful bond between rider and horse, so necessary for competing at the world’s most prestigious sporting event and primordial for any dedicated rider.
According to FEI president Ingmar De Vos. “Equestrian sport is all about the connection, intuitive link and committed partnership between the two athletes, which make our sport one of the most compelling at the Olympic Games.”
The renowned British Dressage (BD), British Showjumping (BS) and British Eventing (BE) organisations are all calling on equestrian fans to show their support. The FEI has also produced the hashtag #ObjectifRio for French-speaking equestrians.
As the BE explained in their article "Your sport needs you in Rio 2016": “Whether you are spectating, volunteering, competing, training or simply enjoying the sport we want to know how you are following Rio 2016!
Through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram tell us how you are keeping up with the action and what you are loving about the 2016 Olympic Games.”
So let’s all show our support! Use the hashtags:
#equestriansports #eventing #Rio2016 #TwoHearts #JointheJourney
It’s up to us! Let's show the IOC that this incredible sport with its long tradition, rich history and above all dedicated fans, simply must remain a part of the Olympics.
Horse & Hound
The Seaver team
5th August 2016