Switzerland's dressage team will not take part in the 2008 Beijing Olympics because of climatic conditions in Hong Kong.This content was published on January 10, 2008 - 08:26
The organisers of the equine events responded that the summer heat posed little risk to horses and the Swiss pullout would have no effect on the Games.
The decision to withdraw came after the pullout of the team's top rider, Silvia Iklé, who doesn't want to expose her horse to travel-related stress and the humid conditions during the summer.
The Swiss Equestrian Federation said the team had only qualified for the event due to the performance of Iklé and her horse, Salieri.
The federation did not make clear whether riders in other equestrian events such as show jumping and eventing would travel to Hong Kong or not.
Hong Kong, which has a well-established racing circuit, was picked to host the equestrian events at the games after an outbreak of equine diseases and substandard quarantine procedures in mainland China.
"We have all the evidence that heat is not a factor, all the other federations throughout the world understand this," said a spokesman with the Equestrian Company organising the Olympic events.
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