Olympics 2012

Hart's Olympic exclusion costly

2012-07-26 11:53
Olympic flag (File)

Johannesburg - Paul Hart's withdrawal from the equestrian event at the Olympic Games in London has cost him almost R1 million, The Times reported on Thursday.

"I've had to pay for my horse to live there, to be fed, to be looked after, [that] and horse shows, cost me huge amounts of money," said Hart.

Tubby Reddy, chief executive of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), said they had been ordered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to include Alex Peternell instead.

CAS ruled in favour of Peternell, ranked 164th in the world, who had objected to the selection of Hart, ranked 442nd.

Hart said his horse Heartbreak Hill's flight to the UK had cost R120 000.

Based in Johannesburg, he ran a business keeping horses and training riders. When he left two months for the Games he lost his business, with many clients and sponsors leaving him.

"I am humiliated. I am very humiliated. You leave South Africa as a hero and you come back as a nobody, really. It is not how you want it to be," said the 44-year-old.

Peternell has not been living in South Africa for 11 years.

"You have to be based in Europe. In the last local competition I did, there were seven people ahead of me who were medallists from European, world and Olympic competitions. And there were others behind me."

Read more on:    sascoc  |  olympics  |  paul hart
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