‘A bond like no other’ gets set to make its mark in Paris!

Friday 14 June 2024

‘A bond like no other’ gets set to make its mark in Paris!

With just weeks to go until the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the FEI has launched its global marketing campaign – "A bond Like no other" – honouring good horsemanship and celebrating the unique and long-lasting connection between horse and human.

Created together with London-based marketing agency Redtorch, the aim of the campaign is to engage Olympic and Paralympic equestrian sports fans and connect with a broader audience, showcasing the essential connection between horse and human and its critical role to success in the sport.

"Equestrian sport is a rich mosaic of stories that illustrate the profound connection between horse and rider,” FEI Commercial Director Ralph Straus explained. “It is a bond that not only drives the horse and human combination to achieve sporting excellence but, as many riders will attest, it also contributes to human emotional well-being.

“For many people, equestrian is a lifelong passion and community. Horse lovers instantly connect through a shared understanding of this unique relationship.

"Through this campaign, we want to take these stories to a broader audience by providing some insight into the depth and beauty of this distinctive bond between the horse and rider. By creating content that we hope will appeal to both animal lovers and sports enthusiasts, we are looking to engage new fans who are curious about the sport and want to experience more of the rich heritage of the sport.”

Although spearheaded by the FEI, the campaign is a truly collaborative effort that resonates deeply within the equestrian community. It involves the collective participation of National Federations, athletes, grooms, and owners to share their stories with a global audience.

The host nation, France, certainly has stories to tell. With a total of 33 medals, France is in the top five countries that have won the most Olympic medals in equestrian sport. As a leading organiser of FEI events each year, France also stands at the forefront of horse breeding, with the "cheval de Selle Français" recognised as one of the premier breeds among Olympic horses.

“Equestrian sport is based on a relationship between two sentient beings, each with their own character, coming together to form a relationship that develops and grows over time,” explained FEI Secretary General and President of the Association of Paralympic Sports Organisation (APSO) Sabrina Ibáñez.

“To truly be successful in equestrian sport, horse and human need to spend quality time together to build up trust. It’s not unlike having a best friend where, after knowing each other for a long period of time, you can just finish each other’s sentences. It’s the non-verbal bond and highly emotive nature of the relationship that is special and unique. Ultimately, it’s about understanding each other’s body language and intonations, learning to read one another without words.

“The bond also highlights the relationship between two elite athletes, with both the horse and the human having undergone years of intensive training to develop their skills en route to the pinnacle of the sport.

“We hope that this campaign will shine a light on the uniqueness of our sport.”

While Paris 2024 will be the first Olympic Games to have a 50:50 ratio of female and male athletes, equestrian is known as a gender-neutral sport that allows athletes of all sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions to compete on a level playing field. Equestrian uniquely stands as the only Olympic and Paralympic sport where all competitions are mixed gender.

The equestrian events of Paris 2024 will be held against the breathtaking backdrop of the Palace and Park of Versailles, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage site. An operational cross-country test event held in August 2023 has already provided a taste of what’s to come, promising a spectacular setting for all equestrian disciplines.

The Olympic Games will take place from 26 July to 11 August, followed by the Paralympic Games from 28 August to 8 September 2024.

 
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