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Equestrian Australia High Performance Weekly Update – 30th March 2021

With less than 150 days to go until Tokyo 2020 the world is getting ready for a Games unlike any in history.

The Olympic torch relay for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad commenced last week in Fukushima, and will make its 121-day journey through the 47 prefectures of Japan before reaching the Tokyo Olympic Stadium on 23 July for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. As the official countdown to the Games begins our riders, staff and support teams continue to focus on delivering medal-winning performances on the world stage. We also remain in contact with the FEI regarding the options available for our athletes impacted by Covid-19 to secure their qualification and confirmation results ahead of the Tokyo 2020 closing date.

The International Olympic Committee has announced that “accompanying guests” will be unable to attend Tokyo 2020 after the decision was made to limit accreditation to those who have essential and operational roles at the Games. We are currently unsure how this latest development will affect the attendance of our owners, who remain an important part of our team, and we are seeking further clarification on this subject. Furthermore, we continue to work closely with the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia on all Tokyo 2020 matters, including the upcoming release of the amended nomination policies.

Last week we hosted a virtual Covid-19 Strategy Meeting for our identified Para-dressage athletes. The meeting focussed on the additional requirements ahead of Tokyo 2020 and how our program will work to incorporate all Covid-19 compliance measures to ensure the safety of our athletes, horses, support team and staff. The meeting also covered a detailed timeline from ‘Qualification and Preparation’ through to ‘Departure and Return Isolation’, including what our athletes can expect on the ground at the Games and how our riders can best prepare themselves and their horses.

Following the outbreak of EHV-1, the FEI recently hosted a stakeholder consultation session to review a comprehensive draft ‘Return To Competition' policy. The proposed measures are aimed at, in the short term, minimising the risks associated with the restart of FEI competitions in mainland Europe on 12 April 2021 and, in the long term, increasing biosecurity knowledge, skills and awareness among all FEI stakeholders in order to prevent a recurrence of the devastating EHV-1 outbreak. The FEI will further advise of the new requirements before the end of March in order to allow sufficient time for implementation. The latest updates surrounding EHV-1 can be found here.

In consideration of the impact of EHV-1 in Europe the FEI Board has extend the nominations entries deadline for the FEI Endurance World Championship for Senior Riders which is scheduled to take place on 22nd May 2021 in Pisa (ITA). Following this FEI update, we have also extended the closing date for Expressions of Interest for the event to Monday 5th April 2021. Application forms and further information can be found on the EA website here.

As always the health and safety of our people and horses remain our priority as we work together as a high-performance community to navigate these unprecedented times.

Article courtesy of Equestrian Australia

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