Final Ring Familiarisation Shows Horses Ready for 2021 Olympic Games

Sat, 07/24/2021 - 12:39
2021 Olympic Games
Joao Marcari Oliva and HorseCampline's Escorial at the 2021 Olympic Games :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Riders and horses competing in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games in dressage had a final opportunity to acquaint their horses with the arena and its decor on Thursday 22 July 2021. 

Set in the magnificent stadium of the newly renovated Baji Koen equestrian centre, owned by the Japan Racing Association, the main arena is one of the greatest in the world for equestrian sport. The footing, made in Germany, is perfection and the decoration of another planet. Completely decked out in a Japanese theme, the ring looks awe-inspiring.

The judges' huts are in the traditional  Japanese architectural style with dark brown wooden planks and hogyo roof. The flower decorations include the most darling pink sakura trees on the short side, and a combination of red and white flowers to represent the Japanese colours interspersed with small birch and palm trees. On one long side there are two Zen stone gardens with bonsai trees. It is nothing short of fabulous.

Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin, master and
student training
The familiarisation started at 17h00, the same starting time for the competitions which kick off on Saturday 24 July. The horses that go first ride in the setting sun which casts a golden glow over the arena. Japan turns dark fairly early at this time of the year and by 19h00 most horses ride in the dark under floodlight. The advantage is that temperatures drop to a very comfortable, warm level and a nice breeze was blowing on familiarisation day. 

Here is a selection of photos that Eurodressage's Astrid Appels took on her first day at Baji Koen.

Text and Photos © Astrid Appels - No Reproduction Allowed!!

Related Link
Eurodressage Coverage of the 2021 Olympic Games