Hong Kong Olympic equestrian chiefs yesterday said there had been no need to tell their bosses in Beijing about the threatened 'snubs' by competitors over health and safety concerns. The Equestrian Company denied it was afraid of causing panic and had deliberately kept the Beijing Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Bocog) in the dark over reports the Swiss dressage team had decided against travelling to Hong Kong because of the humid August weather. Spokesman Mark Pinkstone said 'there is no competition to currently withdraw from' because none of the competing countries and individuals had finalised their plans, and thus had not formally entered the Olympic event at Beas River. 'There's been no need [to alert Bocog]. Not at this stage. 'Even though countries are getting close to deciding their teams, they haven't been finalised yet. When it's at that stage, we'll have a better idea,' he said. However, there was embarrassment and annoyance among top Olympic chiefs yesterday when they were informed by the media the Swiss dressage team had publicly said they would not attend. Li Zhanjun, media director for Bocog, said they were unaware of any reports - and then strongly denied any teams had pulled out. 'We have heard of no team pulling out. There is no question of any withdrawals at this stage,' he said. He then described the queries by the Post about health and safety concerns as 'inappropriate'. Bocog logistics director Yan Ligang, who is overseeing transportation and quarantine arrangements for competing animals, also denied any knowledge of the pullout reports. But he reassured competitors the welfare of horses was paramount. 'I have heard the horses are very expensive with price tags running from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars per horse. And these horses are athletes too,' he said. 'So it is a very challenging job. But when it comes to equestrian competition, Hong Kong is highly developed and very experienced and we have full confidence in them.' Canadian and German riders also said they were considering staying away because of concerns that the sweltering heat and humidity could hurt their horses. But with the deadline for team and individual entrants still months away, Pinkstone said even the Swiss could enter an alternative dressage rider to Silvia Ikle, who this month said she would not attend because her horses were bad travellers and she feared for their safety in the heat and humidity. 'As it is, there is no competition to pull out of, so we are not worried. 'We have a Bocog member from Beijing in our office who reads the newspapers, and he saw no reason to tell Beijing,' added Pinkstone.