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Sue Benson named as Eventing Course Designer for the 2007 Pan Am Games
Rio, Brazil

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Winner of the first Ledyard International Three-day Event in 1973, Sue (Hatherley) Benson has been selected to design the cross-country course for the Pan Am Games in Rio, Brazil in 2007.

The competition will be held July 13 to 29, 2007  at the brand new equestrian facility at Vila Militar which boasts 130 new stables, a veterinary surgery and ample accommodations for riders and grooms. The competition will act as a qualifier for the Olympic Games Beijing 2008. Sue Benson, who won at Ledyard on her horse Harley also finished second at Badminton in 1979 and has emerged as one of Britain's top designers with courses at Bramham and Boekelo bearing her signature. Sue, who will have to regularly go back to Brazil to monitor the construction of the course is convinced that starting the project from scratch could be a significant advantage to Brazil. "It will obviously be a challenge because the site is in its natural state. This course will comply with all international standards", Benson explained.

Representatives from the FEI met January 20 with members of the Organizing Committee of the 2007 Pan-American Games in Rio (CO-RIO), representatives of the Brazilian Equestrian Confederation and the Federal Government to discuss the planning for the jumping, eventing and dressage competitions. On 18 January, the FEI team visited Vila Militar, where the National Equestrian Center and the National Shooting Center will be built. These venues are part of the Deodoro Sport Complex and will host the competitions of these disciplines during the Games.

Eventing Technical delegate, Roger Haller, reported that the meetings provided an excellent opportunity to analyze the details and discuss solutions for possible problems. "This is a beautiful place and most importantly, all are making their best efforts", Roger explained. The FEI representatives made a positive report after their inspection visit to RIO 2007. FEI's technical delegate for the Rio 2007 jumping competitions, Leopoldo Palacios, commented "As a member of the FEI, I've worked in several international competitions, including the Olympic Games and thus I can attest that CO-RIO's group is one of the most professional groups I have encountered".


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