FEI Studies Horse Health and Performance at Tokyo 2020 Olympics Test Event

Data gathered will help organizers build appropriate facilities and guide athletes on preparing their horses during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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Japan’s Ryuzo Kitajima and Vick Du Grisors JRA
The FEI conducted a major research study aimed at identifying best practices for managing horses training and competing in hot and humid environments during last week’s Ready Steady Tokyo test event for the 2020 Summer Olympics, where Japan’s Ryuzo Kitajima and Vick Du Grisors JRA finished second overall. | Photo: FEI/Yusuke Nakanishi
Optimizing performance in challenging climatic conditions was high on the agenda during the many Ready Steady Tokyo 2020 Olympic test events, so the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) established a major research study aimed at identifying best practices for managing horses training and competing in hot and humid environments.

Long-distance travel, time-zone disruptions, and heat and humidity pose specific challenges to horse and human athletes. Researchers began monitoring the combined effects of these factors prior to the horses’ departures from their home countries en route to Tokyo and continued their efforts throughout last week’s equestrian test event in the Japanese capital. Data collected will be used to provide the FEI, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee (TOCOG), and the National Olympic and Paralympic Committees with detailed information on equine performance in these conditions.

“High-level equestrian competitions are increasingly taking place in parts of the world where the climate poses health challenges for both humans and horses,” said Göran Akerström, DVM, FEI veterinary director.

“The study plays a crucial role in guiding the TOCOG and other organizing committees on appropriate facilities and support and will be used to advise and guide athletes and national federations on the preparation of their horses in the buildup to and during the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” he added

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