4.7.3 - Events Held in Challenging Climatic Conditions

From time to time equestrian competitions are held in locations and at times of the year when climatic conditions are potentially challenging for horse and athlete. Horse welfare and athlete health and safety must always be to the fore of planning. Studies have been carried out over many years and as a result much is known about how to manage such situations. This includes measures that can be taken by way of mitigation, such as timetabling competitions when conditions are likely to be better, providing horse cooling facilities (shade, misting fans, ice etc) and implementing robust monitoring processes for early identification of any signs of heat stress. Furthermore, scientifically supported techniques and protocols for cooling horses are now well known and well practiced.

Preparations for the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games saw the first comprehensive and coordinated approach to understanding the potential impact of heat and humidity and how to mitigate the risks posed. This work was further expanded on the run up to the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, where conditions were expected to be challenging for the equestrian competitions in Hong Kong, and most recently further steps were taken for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Here are a number of studies, documents, presentations and other resources relating to managing events and the participation of horses and athletes in challenging climatic conditions:

FEI Campus includes a series of videos under the title 'Beat the Heat'. A collection of eight episodes covering all important topics for competing safely in hot and humid climates, this animated series informs and advises athletes, officials, grooms, horse owners, and anyone else travelling to hot and humid environments for equestrian sport. The series includes an episode dedicated specifically to preparations and measures put in place to protect horse and athlete welfare at the Tokyo 2020 Olymnpic and Paralympic Games. The FEI 'Beat the Heat' series can be found here.

Attached files: Managing the effects of the weather on the Equestrian Events jeffcott et al 2009.pdf, Executive Summary Session 2 - Tokyo 2020.pdf, SF2019_Session_2_Tokyo2020_David Marlin-part 1.pdf, SF2019_Session_2_Tokyo2020_David Marlin_part 2.pdf, SF2019_Session_2_Warm up Rachel Murray.pdf, SF2019_Session_2_T2020_Jenny_Hall.pdf, SF2019_Session_2_Tokyo2020_Peter Whitehead.pdf, CLIMATE MITIGATION FOR EQUESTRIAN AT TOKYO 2020 V10.pdf, PREPARATION FOR AND MANAGEMENT DURING EQUESTRIAN EVENTS HELD IN THERMALLY CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENTS Final.pdf

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