July 30, 2008 / 3:37 AM / 9 years ago

Olympic horses shiver in sub-tropical Hong Kong: report

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Horses competing in the Olympics will have had to contend with the city's sweltering heat, but so far they have just been suffering from icy air-conditioning, a newspaper said on Wednesday.

Hong Kong has been criticized for its subtropical heat, humidity and pollution posing a potential health risk to horses used to cooler climes.

But on arrival, some of their state-of-the-art stables were too cold, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported after temperatures were found to have dipped below 23 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit), sparking complaints by competitors.

"We found out that actually there were some stables where the air-conditioning had been set at 20 degrees Celsius, so we immediately adjusted it back to 23 degrees," the paper quoted a Hong Kong equestrian official as saying.

"The horses are in a good condition and no horses have caught a cold."

Olympic equestrian events were switched to Hong Kong from Beijing after the host city failed to establish a disease-free zone for horses on the mainland.

Reporting by James Pomfret; Editing by Nick Macfie

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