Lausanne, Switzerland – September 13, 2023 –As the prestigious 19th Asian Games draws ever-closer, equestrian athletes and fans alike are eagerly awaiting the events set to unfold in Hangzhou, China. With just 13 days remaining until the equestrian events kick off on 26 September, the excitement is building among riders, teams, and the equestrian community.
From September 26 to October 6, the magnificent Hangzhou International Equestrian Park will serve as the playing field for the competitions across the 3 Olympic disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. A state-of-the-art venue, spread over an impressive area of approximately 54,000 square meters, awaits the arrival of world-class equine and human athletes with meticulously designed training arenas, stables and veterinary facilities.
Organized by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Asian Games bring together the OCA’s 45 member countries to compete in a diverse range of 40 sports.
Since its debut appearance at the 9th Asian Games in 1982 held in New Delhi, India, equestrian sport has become an integral part of the Asian Games program. Following a brief absence in the 11th edition in Beijing, it returned in 1994 and has been a core of the programme ever since.
At Hangzhou 2022, we can expect an impressive roster of 20 nations to participate in the equestrian events, including powerhouse equestrian countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates, alongside emerging contenders like Palestine, Qatar, and Uzbekistan, vying for supremacy and national pride.
A Rich History
Over the years, legendary riders and talented teams have etched their names in Asian Games history.
In Jakarta (INA) 2018, Ali Al Khorafi from Kuwait clinched the individual Jumping gold medal with his remarkable horse Cheril, while Ali Al-Thani of Qatar secured the silver aboard Sirocco. Meanwhile, Ramzy Al-Duhami from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia galloped to a bronze medal victory astride Ted.
Notably, the Saudi Arabian team, comprising Abdullah Al-Sharbatly, Khaled Al Eid, and Khaled Al Mobty alongside Ramzy Al-Duhami, claimed the team gold.
Hong Kong’s Jacqueline Wing Ying Siu left an indelible mark in Jakarta, winning the individual Dressage gold medal with her extraordinary horse, Jockey Club Fuerst On Tour, while Japan took the top spots in the team competition.
In Eventing, it was Yoshiaki Oiwa from Japan who emerged victorious, capturing the individual gold with Bart L JRA. India’s Fouaad Mirza secured the silver medal on his mount Seigneur Medicott, while Alex Hua-Tian from China claimed the bronze riding PSH Convivial.
The Japanese Eventing team, comprising Ryuzo Kitajima, Takayuki Yumira, Kenta Hiranaga, and Yoshiaki Oiwa, also stood atop the podium, proudly taking home the team gold medals.
Equestrian sport’s rich history at the Asian Games is a testament to the sport’s growth and popularity in the region. The inclusion of equestrian events in the program since 1982 speaks volumes about the enduring appeal and impact it has had on the Asian sporting landscape, which is growing every year.
With Hangzhou 2022 on the horizon, it offers a unique opportunity for riders and teams to showcase their talents on a continental stage, while inspiring a new generation of equestrians across Asia.
The countdown has begun, and the stage is set…
The Asian Games runs from 23 September to 8 October, with the equestrian events slated for 26 September to 6 October.
Source: Press Release from FEI Communications for FEI- Federation Equestre Internationale
Photo: © FEI / Christophe Taniére