Nick Butler
Hilary Manners ©Hilary MannersThe 2012 Olympic Games might be a distant memory, but equestrian's legacy lives on as the focus shifts to Rio 2016. Five key British players from the Greenwich-based team are sharing the experience they gained in 2012 with those involved in the 2016 Games.

Tim Hadaway, Equestrian Competition Manager in 2012, joined the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) staff in 2013 as director of a newly created Games and Championships Department. Not only is he involved with Rio, but he is starting to work with the Canadian Organising Committee for the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018, and Tokyo 2020 is already featuring on his horizon.

"Mine is an ongoing role," he explains. "I make sure that the relevant requirements are followed, and provide advice and guidance as necessary to the various Organising Committees.

"It's a pleasure to be working alongside my core London colleagues, and rewarding to know that we patently put together an unparalleled team. We are lucky to have such a depth of experience in Great Britain, and to see its continued involvement at the highest level is a real legacy of the last Games."

Many of the equestrian officials involved at London 2012 will be present again at Rio 2016 ©Getty ImagesMany of the equestrian officials involved at London 2012 will be present again at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

The FEI has appointed London Eventing Manager Alec Lochore, as Eventing Technical Delegate and 2012 Para-equestrian dressage manager Amanda Bond, who now runs all things equestrian for the Hong Kong Jockey Club, is back as technical delegate of the Para-Equestrian Dressage.

"Great Britain has such a long tradition of equestrian sport; it is a very supportive environment where knowledge is passed on," Bond said. "For me, Rio will be a new experience; as technical delegate I sit on the other side of the table from the Organising Committee and that will be a challenge, given I was with the Committee for both London and Beijing [2008]. It's a great honour that the FEI put their trust in you to help deliver the Games, but at the same time, a bit nerve-wracking."

"At the highest level, the FEI make these key appointments, and it is a reflection of both Alec and Amanda's experience in their relevant disciplines," adds Hadaway. "Add Stephen Renouard and Jenny Hall into the mix and you have something of a dream team."

London 2012 Jumping and Dressage Manager Stephen Renouard has been brought in as Equestrian Consultant for Rio 2016, and Jenny Hall, Veterinary Services Manager in 2012, is engaged as Veterinary Consultant. These appointments underline the success of the Olympic equestrian events in 2012, and the esteem in which its key players are held worldwide.

Alec Lochore not only has the experience he gained in London, along with 16 years of running Horse Trials in Great Britain, he is also a 3*/4* course designer and previously competed at the highest levels. "I'm sure the experience I gained in London will be an invaluable asset. An understanding of how both Olympic Organising Committees and the International Federation interact and work is a key requirement," he says.

Replicating the success of the London 2012 three day eventing cross country course will be a major challenge in Rio de Janeiro ©Getty ImagesReplicating the success of the London 2012 three day eventing cross country course will be a major challenge in Rio de Janeiro ©Getty Images

"Technical Delegate for Rio is a role I was very proud to accept, and having recently made my first visit to the venue I am even more excited. The Deodoro cluster is going to be an exciting place to be, with rugby, hockey and modern pentathlon only a stone's throw from the National Equestrian Centre, which is a great facility in itself. There are a total of nine sports in this area so it will have a real Olympic buzz.

"Rio will have different challenges to London, but the scale of knowledge sharing is a great development in the sport. It's not just competitive success that marks the legacy of 2012. A wonderful legacy from Rio 2016 would be to strengthen and develop equestrian sport in this global region, and this will be achieved largely through knowledge transfer."

Jenny Hall agrees: "The depth of our knowledge transfer is very much a legacy from London - a 'soft' legacy that it is easy to overlook," she said. "It would be safe to say that we were all on a massive learning curve in Greenwich. For me, I knew what the end result needed to look like, having been a team vet, but I had limited event management experience. My role this time around has been about developing people who have all the ability but, as was the case with us, have not had the experience of delivering an Olympic Games. It has been incredibly rewarding to pass on what I have learnt and play a small part in what I'm sure will be a very successful event."

Stephen Renouard has a wide ranging advisory role for Rio. "One of my key responsibilities at the start was to review the venue design. The footprint exists and the basic facilities are in place, but for an event as prestigious as the Olympic Games things not surprisingly need an upgrade. I have to make sure that the right systems and infrastructure are in place, and this is where I can draw from my time in Greenwich; what could we have done better with hindsight?

"Equestrian is different to other sports. Departments within the Rio Team [Functional Areas] providing ancillary services, such as transport, results, even the architects need to be educated as to the different requirements. They are specialists in their field but there is no reason why they should understand horse sport; this is always the case, and a problem we had to overcome in London too.

"For me the challenges are greater away from home. I'm not just educating people but I am also learning a different culture and systems - it's a two-way thing, and a fantastic opportunity to give back to the sport, a role that I relish."

Equestrian events at Rio 2016 will be held at the National Equestrian Centre in the Deodoro Cluster, pictured in August 2014 ©Getty ImagesEquestrian events at Rio 2016 will be held at the National Equestrian Centre in the Deodoro Cluster, pictured in August 2014 ©Getty Images

Other senior posts have been filled by esteemed French cross country course designer Pierre Michelet, responsible for the track at last year's Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy; and the experienced Ataide Pereira from Brazil who takes on Tim Hadaway's role as Equestrian Competition Manager, having been assistant technical delegate at Sydney 2000, London 2012 and the 2014 World Equestrian Games.

"The right management team can make or break any event. Without exception, challenges will come along that threaten a successful outcome," Bond points out. "It is the way a team pull together with gritty determination to find a solution that makes the difference.

"And if you can have a bit of fun along the way, all the better!"

Hilary Manners is a long-standing equestrian journalist, and press officer for three international horse trials in Great Britain.