EN Today: Olympic drama-drama

Olympic eventing technical official Hugh Thomas resigns over a disagreement about allowing the public to attending the eventing horse inspection.

Top: Mary King jogs at Burghley in front of a crowd. Photo by Samantha Clark.

From Visionaire:

The Guardian reports that Olympic eventing technical official Hugh Thomas has resigned from his duties, over a disagreement about allowing the general public to attend the eventing horse inspection.

From The Guardian:

Thomas says in his email [to London 2012’s equestrian manager Tim Hadaway]: “I was horrified to hear from you … that Locog [the London Organising Committee] does not intend to admit any of the public to the eventing horse inspections. I truly think this is a disgraceful decision and it particularly upsets me since I, when course designer, technical delegate and then chairman of the FEI Eventing Committee, personally ensured at previous Games, despite the initial wishes of the organisers, that the great tradition within eventing that the inspections are open and transparent should be upheld.

“The public nature of the proceedings is the guarantee of integrity and for enthusiasts a fascinating and integral part of the competition. If this decision is irreversible, I do not wish to be even slightly involved as an official with an organisation that treats the public and indeed the traditions of our sport in this way, so please replace me as a member of the Ad Hoc Committee and cancel my accreditation.”

London organisers say the timing of the inspections meant to have the public attend would over-stretch resources. A Locog spokeswoman said: “Locog regrets the decision of Hugh Thomas to resign as a technical official for the equestrian events in Greenwich Park but we have accepted his resignation. Operationally there were a number of factors which meant that we were not able to ticket the horse inspection event.

“The horse inspection happens on the day of London’s Olympic opening ceremony and the final day of the torch relay so there is a lot of Olympic activity in the capital and a big demand on police resources and public transport. An operational decision was taken not to open this to the public for these reasons.”

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