Toyko success is a gift to ‘grab with both hands'
Horse & Hound|August 26, 2021
The industry looks at how the buzz from the Games can help boost our sport in years to come
LUCY ELDER

BRITAIN’S superb performances at the Tokyo Olympics have presented the horse world with “an amazing gift” that it “must grab with both hands”.

British riders took five medals at the Games, equalling, in numbers, the London 2012 tally.

“We knew the names way before us who had been successful at the Olympics. So for our names to be added to that list is a huge honor and achievement. But we are all normal people,” Tokyo eventing team gold medallist Oliver Townend said.

“We are not all posh horse people, we are all from normal backgrounds. I hope it allows kids also from normal backgrounds who have a dream to [realize] it is possible. If you have that dream and you’re willing to dedicate your life to it, it can happen. It has happened to us three.”

The industry saw a boost after British equestrian success at the 2012 Games, and there are hopes these results can build on that.

As well as an increase in sporting bodies’ membership figures, the impact hit across the industry. H&H reported record ticket sales and crowds at Olympia and Badminton respectively. Some colleges said the Games inspired more students into the industry, with a surge in applications (news, February 2013).

British Eventing (BE) CEO Helen West said Olympic inspiration is key to encouraging new talent into the sport.

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