Olympic dressage events leave Hong Kong's horse racing fans yawning

Olympic dressage events leave Hong Kong's horse racing fans yawning Hong Kong - Hong Kong's horse racing-mad population appear to have found the first day of Olympic equestrian competition a turn-off, a news report said Sunday.

Spectators queued to be among the first to see the city host its first ever Olympic events Saturday as part of the Beijing Olympics but by mid-morning the stadium at Sha Tin was two-thirds empty.

Many of the initial 10,400 spectators, more used to the excitement of weekly horse races at the same venue, fell asleep during the dressage events, sometimes referred to as "horse ballet."

One of them told the city's Sunday Morning Post newspaper she was "deeply bored." "The horses just walked from one side of the arena to the other and then back again," she said.

"I thought they were just going through the warm-up exercises but the commentators said the round was over ... I really don't think Hong Kong people will be interested in this."

As the stands emptied, another spectator said: "I expected to see horse racing. I have to say this is the most boring thing I've ever seen in my life."

Hong Kong is hosting all the equestrian events for the Beijing Olympics. Hoteliers in the city say bookings are down for the period because the events have proved a turn-off for overseas visitors. (dpa)

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