The London organising committee (Locog) has announced that the eventing horse inspections at the 2012 London Olympic Games will not be open to the public, as is tradition in the sport. As a result, Hugh Thomas, one of Britain’s top officials, has resigned from the committee overseeing the competition.
The Locog, who have accepted his resignation, claims that since the inspections are to be held on the same day as the opening ceremony and conclusion of the torch relay, July 27th, they lack the resources and manpower to conduct both events publically. The inspections are set to take place earlier in the day, however.
Thomas, a senior FEI official, who is the event director of Badminton and a former Olympic course designer says that he has personally ensured that horse inspections remained public at previous editions of the Games. In an email to London 2012’s equestrian manager, Tim Hadaway, Thomas stated: “I was horrified to hear from you … that Locog 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.”