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Case Studies

London 2012 Olympic Games

Category: equestrian


Ground and surface preparations for the equestrian cross country course at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Assessment, upgrade and management of twenty-four training pitches at local sports clubs, universities and school playing fields for the football event at London 2012.


Overall equestrian services provided

  • Site appraisal – ground conditions, drainage and topography.
  • Detailed design and method statement for implementation of project.
  • Provision of specialist staff, equipment and machinery for delivery of project.
  • Construction, irrigation, surface preparation and restoration following the closure of the Games.


Overall football services provided

  • Deliver 24 top quality training pitches within tight deadlines
  • Make pitches appear and perform to the same standards as stadium venues.
  • Pitches to manage over 500 scheduled training sessions and eight hours use per day.


Olympic equestrian project results

Our equestrian consultants provided a total solutions package from inception to delivery.

We carried out construction and maintenance operations for all surfaces for the 2012 Olympic equestrian Cross Country event. Plus the restoration of the Greenwich Park site following the event.

Greenwich Park is a highly sensitive site containing internationally protected archaeological features, veteran trees, endangered habitats and species. The park attracts millions of visitors each year and is situated in one of the driest and most freely draining parts of the UK. Creating ground conditions suitable for high level equestrian events was one of the most technically challenging sports surface projects ever undertaken.

Specialists, across various technical disciplines, were essential in delivering practical and achievable solutions. Internal experts in the fields of; drainage, irrigation, turfgrass, soils, ecology, arboriculture and logistics were called upon to prepare the blueprint for delivery of the practical works.

Agricultural engineers designed and constructed bespoke machinery suitable of working within the unique conditions the park presents. STRI managed an enviable list of equipment and highly trained staff, based in the park, working towards the delivery of this prestigious competition.

After the event, our specialists remained on-site to restore the park, including the sensitive acid grassland habitats and amenity areas.


Football project results

STRI conducted a detailed analytical assessment of each pitch, to measure its playing performance quality and the resources available to the venue.

The Pitch Management Plan, which included daily maintenance operations, required resources and equipment was then implemented at each venue. Risks were identified and assessed with contingency plans drawn up for each site.

Completed works ranged from changes in fertiliser application, aeration and mowing practices through to design and installation of irrigation and drainage systems.

Our headquarters in Yorkshire hosted dedicated training sessions for all grounds and venue staff. Tournament expectations and practical management issues were discussed and clarified.

All 24 pitches were delivered to FIFA guidelines and standards. Each pitch achieved targets specified within STRI’s Playing Quality Standards.

Over 25 international teams trained on the pitches, and no sessions were cancelled.

The Results

Twenty four well presented and durable pitches all delivered to the standards required.

Every pitch presented to FIFA guidelines and standards and achieved targets as specified within STRI’s Playing Quality Standards for football.

Twenty eight international teams trained on pitches from a rain-soaked Glasgow down to a baking dry London with not one session cancelled.

Positive feedback and comments received from both LOCOG officials and the international players.