Swiss Dressage Team Opts Out of Beijing Games; Humidity, Travel Stress Cited

Switzerland's dressage team will not take part at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The move follows the withdrawal of the team's top rider, Silvia Ikle, who doesn't want to expose her horse to travel-related stress and the humid conditions in Hong Kong during the summer.

Ikle's decision not to participate has consequences for the entire national dressage team, the Swiss equestrian federation said Tuesday in a statement.

Switzerland said it had only qualified for the event due to the performance of Ikle and her horse, Salieri. The dressage selection committee of the federation has therefore decided not to send any individuals or teams to take part in the dressage competition in Hong Kong, the statement said.

Hong Kong, which has a well-established racing circuit, was picked to host the equestrian events at the games due to concern over an outbreak of equine diseases and substandard quarantine procedures in mainland China.

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The Associated Press

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