Olympic Horses
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Olympic Horses

These horses are worth millions of dollars, Hong Kong has spared no expense in providing them state of the art facilities for the Olympic Equestrian Events. Over 200 horses are staying in newly built, air-conditioned stables in Sha Tin, close to border mainland with China.

Tony Shea [Olympic Stable Manager], “I will say this is a six-stars hotel for the horses to live. Well even better than my house, they got 24 hours air-con, I don’t have 24 hours air-con in my house. Hong Kong is a city mad about horses, the last race this season takes place in early July and horses get a break during the hot summer months. This is not an option for horses competing in this summer Olympics in August. High humidity makes it particularly hard to cool down after heavy exercise.

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Chris Riggs [Head of veterinary services], “We think that with all the data we’ve got, the experience we’ve had with the horses will go fine with it. However, we don’t leave much of anything to chance, we’ve invested lot in processes and facilities to help horses adapt to the environment here.”

And this is the secret weapon, these huge fans provide a nice breeze, blow chilled water into the fine mist. There are additional challenges, Hong Kong has experienced some of the worst pollution on record of this summer. Organizers hope the South Winds will blow the worst of smog away.
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Lam Woon Kwong [CEO, Equestrian Events Hong Kong], “We’ve never had any outdoor sports events which have to be cancelled because of air pollution so I think we should be manageable. Whichever way, the horses and the riders face a formidable challenge in their quest for gold.