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2008: Hong Kong or...Aachen!

Aachen has offered itself as the 2008 alternative site for the equestrian portion of the Olympics.
Somewehre, on another thread, in another galaxy, it has been noted that several of the NF’s have been less than thrilled with the idea of being tucked 3500 miles away from the actual Olympic site-- no opening or closing ceremonies, no Olympic village, no big media coverage,etc etc etc.

Soooo, Aachen, flushed with success (or maybe that should be $ucce$$) with WEG, has offered itself as an alternative.

Of course, they are quick to add, they will not submit a proposal. No no no no.
That might get them a stern talking-to from Princess Haya, meeting with IOC at Aachen even as I write this.

I hope all this poker-playing at least has good results for the horses and the care that goes into their facilities and such for 2008.

What a great idea. I am so there if it happens. I am going with you, of course. :yes:

oooh. Us. Aachen.



of course us in Hong Kong is probably double wow, but might be too pricey to accomplish.


Can I go too?

Hong Kong in August? :dead:

Aachen sounds great :yes:

waving wand airily:

of course you may go too!

Why the H***, don’t they run the games in late September or early October? August is intolerable. The weather in the fall is much better, and it’s not like the athletes have to go back to school. :smiley:

Reckon it’s because of soccer (and our baseball/football) competition?

Oh, me too!

If they do it in Aachen, I am so there! It will be a party. I will have to make up for missing the WC in Vegas next year :frowning: (I am still trying to figure out if I can leave my husband at home with a 3-ish month old baby? Is that too unreasonable?) LOL. I am just kidding (for those who might take me seriously…)

Makes sence, were else could you get 90 000 people to watch X-C, or every day sold out and record crowds, 45 000 watching vaulting.

[quote=canyonoak;1850378]waving wand airily:

of course you may go too![/quote]
OMGiH, the three of us in Aachen together. We have to stay in Valkenburg, of course. That way I can have hagelslag on my bread every morning. The wonderful people from World Cup Travel Desk can get us a spiffing little SUV. We are flying to Schiphol of course.

Fingers crossed that Haya put on her very best negotiating hat. If anyone can pull it off, it is Haya.

I hope she does pull it off. I am really regretting not going to the WEG, especially since I can watch most of it on streaming video, and I won’t pass up my next chance to go to a big event.

if that happens, I’m gonna come across the pond and watch, too. Sigh. One can dream…

Be careful, you may get what you wish for!

The politics of the Olympic movement are convoluted, to say the least. One thing is certain is that the FEI gets a fair chunk of their funding from the IOC, as does the USEF/USET from the USOC. Given the competition to get sports into the Olympics, there are many folk who would be delighted to get the expensive equestrian sports out of the Games and will jump on any excuse to do so. It’s a simple “Follow the Money” exercise to see why.

Although the organizers of the current Aachen World Equestrian Games seem to have lined up enough sponsor to support their efforts, previous WEGs have been financial disasters. The organizing committee for Jerez declared bankruptcy and I don’t think that the Willis Brothers have yet been paid for building the 2002 cross country course. The taxpayers of the Commonwealth of Kentucky may also get to find out how much of the 2010 WEG they are on the hook for. So to think that “it doesn’t matter” what happens to horse sports in the Olympics is ignoring some fundamental financial considerations.

I dont think anyone serious believes that it does not matter where and how equestrian sport is represented on the world stage.

I do believe that IOC knew from the beginning that Beijing had no plans and little interest in equestrian sport.

I do not envy princess haya and the negotiations that are surely going on right now.

They just clubbed 50,000 dogs to death on the streets of Beijing because of a suspected rabies outbreak. Clubbing because it is cheaper than bullets or any other form of euthanasia.

The glory days of horses in China are associated with the ancient Imperial dynasties–and are therefore frowned upon.

I hold out hope that all gets resolved with horses firmly in the Olympics but not suffering at the hands of politics.
One great worry is that Beijing/Hong Kong have reserved the right to cancel equestrian should an outbreak of bird flu or any thing else occur at an inconvenient time. ANd late summer would seem to lend itself to that inconvenient time.

The rabies incident did NOT happen in Beijing, it happened in YUNNAN province which is a hell of a ways away from Beijing (south west China). It is not easy to own dogs in Beijing, and there are a lot of restrictions (or so sayeth my expat friends who live there). I think the incident in Yunnan is absolutely deplorable, but to say that it happened “in the streets of Beijing” is just flat out incorrect.

As far as frowning on imperial dynasties, that’s a load of crap - if anything, imperial China is one of the few things today that’s SAFE to study. Turn on CCTV, and what do you see for mini series? Things like our soap operas & a lot of HISTORICAL dramas. I have a great one from the Mainland that is all about the self-strengthening movement in the late 19th century. The latest one advertised while before I came back to VA for vacation (this is in Taipei) was one on the Han dynasty. Those of us who study late imperial history don’t have to be quite as careful as people who study the Republican period and after. If China wanted to whitewash its imperial past, Xi’an wouldn’t be a tourist mecca, Shanghai wouldn’t have a $$$$$$$ museum stuffed full of imperial art, and tourists wouldn’t be traipsing around the Forbidden Palace.

There are a lot of things behind stuffing the horses in HK, but I really, REALLY doubt it’s a Communist attempt to deny the Tang dynasty. :rolleyes:

I hang my head, because that was easy enough to check WHERE the dog incident took place and I was too lazy to bother.

I can easily understand the growing pride such a great culture must take in its own history – so long, so glorious, so world-affecting for so many centuries. But somehow, I never get the feeling that modern China has much interest in horse sport.

China - nyet, Aachen - si, oui, absolutement! Add a bread eater to the tour Coreene!

Asian cultures, with a few exceptions, are not “horsey” in the way that many Western cultures have been.

Even the “horse cultures” that founded the Yuan and Qing dynasties let that aspect slide fairly quickly. There is much wonderful Chinese, Japanese, and Korean art featuring horses, but horses simply weren’t part of the culture in the way that they were in, say, the American West or England or France or …

Why should they have interest in horse sports? It’s pretty damn hard to own a horse when one lives in a city, as great swaths of the population do, or out in the boonies where you’re living hand to mouth. This is hardly a problem that’s exclusive to China. Horses are expensive and break easily.

Frankly, I think all the hullabaloo about the horse sports being in Hong Kong is ridiculous - I understand the disappointment about being shuffled off to a far away city, but it’s HONG KONG for crying out loud. HONG KONG. NOT some god forsaken provinces, but a sophisticated, modern city. And a damn sight cleaner than Beijing.

I hate to break it to you Albion- but HongKong- while still being the city that I want to visit in the future- is a very far away place with absolutely NO PROVEN HISTORY of hosting anything horsey and therefore to anyone who has spent his lifetime to get to the point where that utmost performance is looming- HIGHLY SUSPECT!! Sorry- it is…apart from that absolute lack of space, high level of pollution, unknown weather and climate and lots of unknown pests and diseases- it truly seems like a completely non-horsey place- I think of HongKong and highrises, heavily crowded streets, lots of crowding even in the waters around HongKong and literally not a speck of green grass…add to that tons of limousines, smog, congestion and my biggest concern- serious lack of space…how should this be possibly accomplished…apart from the fact that there are great restaurants, shops, and other wonderful luxury places around there…???


Thank you, Drumbiggle.

Sabine, I must have forgotten that Western cities don’t have congestion, smog, high rises, or anything like that (I find it more disgusting to fly into LA - where you can descend right through that lovely smog cloud! - than either Taipei or Shanghai. And Shanghai has HORRIBLE air quality). Guess I was imagining all that in Paris, Milan, London, New York, Los Angeles, DC …

The weather is hardly “unknown,” and “pests and diseases” are not unknown either. Frankly, if people with VERY EXPENSIVE race horses are willing to ship them to HK (where the history of racing and horses in a “Western sense” is NOT NEW), that’s good enough for me. Besides, isn’t all this ranting caused by the fact that they PUT the horse sports in HK? Would you rather they be in Beijing where they DON’T have a horse culture like they do in HK? Would we like a repeat of Athens?

As far as it being “very far away,” it’s closer than Australia. I KNOW how long the plane flight is, as I’ve made it several times. Transpacific flights (or flights coming from Europe) are hardly my favorite thing in the world, but not exactly an insurmountable obstacle.

Oh, and by the way, one quickly discovers that while Asian cities are not stuffed with green at every turn like many Western cities, they LOVE their parks and open spaces and have beautiful public parks that put most things in the West to shame. To say nothing of the race courses/complex in HK, which is what I assume you were referring to.