The year 2013 is looking particularly promising for the Normandie 2014 Organising Committee, thanks to its decision to bolster the team with some very specialist expertise. The veterinarian, Anne Couroucé-Malblanc, has come on board to manage all veterinary and health issues. This appointment was thoroughly well thought out. The Fédération Equestre Internationale was present at every stage of the selection process, from drawing up the criteria of the ideal candidate to the final selection itself. On a slightly different note, another important appointment has also been made. The company Peden Bloodstock has been chosen for the all-important task of transporting horses.
With little more than 500 days to go before the start of the competitions, the horses’ health and welfare remain the organisers’ primary concern for guaranteeing a successful event.
1,000 equine athletes in the "Land of the Horse"
An estimated 1,000 horses of all breeds and from all around the world will be gathered in Normandy during the 15-day long World Championships. These athletes will need the best possible health and welfare conditions, if they are to deliver the high-quality sporting performance expected of them. As well as participating in the competitions, horses will also play a part in demonstrations and various other activities at the Games Village. Understandably, this significant influx of horses in France’s number one equine area (in terms of livestock numbers) imposes strict veterinary and health requirements.
A “triple dose” of experience needed
Anne Couroucé-Malblanc will be managing this key aspect of the event; it requires someone of her level of expertise to handle a competition of this size. A lecturer at Oniris - the Nantes Atlantic College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering - she also specialises in equine internal medicine. But it was her keen interest in sports medicine that led to her involvement with national and international level sport horses. Anne Couroucé-Malbanc has also been appointed to this position because of her extensive knowledge of national and international health authorities. It is interesting to note that she has long been involved in networks and associations such as AVEF – Association of French Equine Veterinarians and RESPE – the National Equine Epidemiological Surveillance Network.
"It’s great to be able to participate in this major sporting event for top-level sport horses. In 2014, we have the immense honour of organising this event in Normandy, France and of showcasing the professionalism and expertise of French equine veterinarians. A major international gathering of this sort demands flawless organisation and a close working relationship with the equine sector, veterinarians, health authorities and the Fédération Equestre Internationale. Here at the Organising Committee, we now have to work together to make sure we are successful in everything we undertake.”
Anne Couroucé-Malblanc will be responsible for:
- The monitoring and prevention of health risks in conjunction with the Shipping Agent and with national and international authorities.
- The creation of a "veterinary care map", by site and by discipline (with details of teams, qualifications, equipment, emergency management…),
- Anti-doping controls and the relevant resources to allow testing under the authority of the FEI.
For the time being, Anne Couroucé-Malblanc will have all the pre-event planning phase to get on with. However, things will change as soon as the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy begin. She will then be out in the field, managing a multidisciplinary team, making split-second decisions along with the delegations’ veterinarians and the various authorities.
"We’ve been looking forward to her arrival on the team and we can now prepare the all-important veterinary side of the event. The Organising Committee would like to go even further in its collaboration with Oniris - the Nantes Atlantic College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering. Here in France, the event gives us a unique opportunity to offer research possibilities, to bring students and equine specialists from all the different federations together....We would like to encourage these working relationships and also welcome students during the preparatory phase and during the event itself. This will be yet another way of creating a long-lasting legacy for the equine sector".
Laurent Cellier, sports director of the Normandie 2014 Organising Committee
A five star shipping agent
When the time comes, it will be crucial to guarantee the best possible conditions for the horses’ arrival at the competition sites and their departure after the event. Veterinarians and the designated shipping agents will all be working together with the national and international authorities to ensure that this happens.
The Normandie 2014 Organising Committee has now selected the company Peden Bloodstock as the official shipping agents for competition horses. The company (see www.pedenbloodstock.com) is internationally recognised due to its proven track record at previous editions of the Olympic Games, the World Equestrian Games, the finals of the World Cup, the Endurance World Championships and not forgetting the Global Champions Tour. The news has been especially well-received by the federations as this particular aspect is absolutely crucial for the health and welfare of the horses.
Peden Bloodstock will be responsible for organising international air transport for horses; an estimated 15 to 20% of the horses fall in this category. This service is provided at the federations’ expense.
The company will also handle all related logistics, customs and health formalities for all of the horses, equipment and attendants; thereby ensuring their safe and legal arrival into Normandy and onto the venues. In addition to their FEI passport, participants must have a specific health certificate for the event which will be approved by health authorities globally. Peden will be responsible for the planning and implementation of these highly specialised transport, health and logistics aspects of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy.
The official Shipping Agent’ services are overseen by the sports management team in addition to other delegation services (such as stable management.) They are all grouped under what is known as the "Central Information Desk for Horses". After all, everything must be ready in time for the action to begin…
About the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy mark the beginning of a whole succession of international sporting events in France: UEFA EURO 2016, the 2017 World Handball Championships and the 2018 Ryder Cup. Held every 4 years, alternating with the Olympic Games and under the authority of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), the World Equestrian Games are the biggest equestrian event in the world. They will be held from 24 August to 7 September 2014. The event brings together 8 official disciplines over a period of two weeks of competition: jumping, dressage, eventing, driving, reining, vaulting, endurance and para dressage.
Over 60 nations and nearly 1000 athletes will come together to demonstrate equestrian competitions of the highest standard to the 500 000 visitors expected at the various sites.