Chicago 2016 Announces New Equestrian Venue: Well-Established Equestrian Facility, Tempel Farms, Offers Land and Facilities for Olympic Bid
RELEASE: May 1, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Chicago 2016
Chicago 2016, the organization bidding for the privilege to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, announced that Tempel Farms, an internationally renowned equestrian facility in Lake County, IL, will be the proposed site for the Olympic Equestrian Complex. Tempel Farms is well known to the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), and its participation is expected to strengthen Chicago’s concept for the Games significantly.
Chicago 2016 Chairman and CEO Pat Ryan said, “This is a great day for sport and for athletes. Tempel Farms will provide a perfect setting for the equestrian competition, and its facilities give us a great opportunity to ensure a lasting legacy for equestrian athletes.”
Tempel Farms was founded in 1959 by the late Tempel and Esther Smith and is home to the largest privately owned herd of Lipizzan horses in the world. It features training, breeding and dressage facilities as well as a world-renowned training staff. The farm hosts competitions such as Dressage at Tempel Farms and has hosted clinics featuring Olympians Michelle Gibson and Bruce Davidson. Over the years, Tempel Farms has also hosted the North American Young Rider Championships and the United States Dressage Federation Young Rider Clinic Series.
The farm’s area is large enough to accommodate spectators and officials comfortably. In addition, the possibility of establishing an equine veterinary clinic after the Games works cohesively with Chicago 2016’s interest in leaving a positive legacy for future generations to enjoy.
Tempel Smith’s grandson, Laurens Leffingwell, Jr., said, “My family and I look forward to working with the 2016 committee to bring the Olympics to Chicago. In the end, the attributes of our facility aligned perfectly with Chicago 2016’s vision of what a truly distinctive Olympic Equestrian Complex should be.”
A Lake County Forest Preserve District site had been considered as the location for the venue before representatives from Tempel Farms made their intentions known. Ryan said, “We are grateful to the Forest Preserve Commissioners and the people of Lake County who supported the proposal of holding the event in the forest preserve. The offer put forth by Tempel Farms will improve our initial proposal in a number of ways. It is especially noteworthy that the critical cross-country course already exists, a fact that should please the FEI.”
“We were honored to have been considered as a potential site for the Olympic equestrian facility,” said Bonnie Thomson Carter, President of the Lake County Forest Preserve District. “We are very excited that it will remain in Lake County at Tempel Farms.”
Chicago is honored to be competing for the privilege of hosting the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games alongside six world-class cities: Baku, Azerbaijan; Doha, Qatar; Madrid, Spain; Prague, Czech Republic; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Tokyo, Japan.