Mallorca, Spain - We are about to enjoy another very important moment in the Spanish dressage world, with considerable international competition activity and a big new event just around the corner. The National Spanish Championships finished just a few days ago and another international event of the highest level is already awaiting us – the CDI4* "Balearen Tour".
Next week, the beautiful facilities of the Es Fangar Stud in Mallorca are to open their doors to host the first international 4* invitational competition to be held on the Balearic Islands, from June 11-14. Pure Dressage is awaiting us in a luxury location. Es Fangar is one of the great centres of Europe. It is located in a unique place in the Mediterranean, the island of Mallorca. At its facilities, riders, judges and the general public can enjoy the traditional surroundings with a wide range of amenities.
The Dammann riding surface guarantees top care for the equine athletes, not only on the 2-kilometre canter track but also in each of the four warm-up and competition arenas, which include a covered arena. Showers, paddocks, paths in the shade and perfect stalling conditions are another bonus at this location.
Top riders are expected to participate in this first invitational competition in Spain. Competitors accounting for more than 130 entries are ready for the show. Three Olympic athletes will be in Mallorca. Two of them are Olympic medallists: Danish rider Nathalie zu Sayn–Wittgenstein, bronze team medallist in Hong Kong, and Spanish rider Beatriz Ferrer-Salat, bronze individual medallist in Athens. Spanish rider Jordi Domingo, who we saw in Hong Kong 2008, will also be in Mallorca, as well as Daniel Pinto, portuguese Olympic rider. Travelling from France will be Marc Boblet, a team member in WEG Caen last summer. Maria Caetano from Portugal loves to compete in Spain and she will not miss the opportunity to enjoy this big event. Manuel Veiga, also from Portugal, is due to compete as well. Another athlete who we have seen recently on Spanish soil in the Barcelona Dressage Tour is the Dutch rider, Joyce Lenaerts. Brazilian competitor João Victor Marcari Oliva, Japanese rider Akane Kuroki and Ukrainian sportswoman Inna Logutenkova are others of the big names competing in the Grand Prix at Es Fangar. Spanish competitors include Claudio Castilla, Cristóbal Belmonte, Juan Antonio Jiménez Cobo and many other well-known combinations.
Although still quite unusual in our discipline, invitational competitions are very important as they make it possible to invite the best athletes to delight everyone with their performances. It is an attempt to treat top dressage athletes in the same manner as the elite from other sports, so they can be paid for doing what they do best and not have to bear the costs of top international competitions out of their pocket. This is a way to guarantee both the show and also the highest level of serious competition.
There are already a few examples of dressage invitationals worldwide, although, certainly, it is something that has not yet really been implemented. However, we should move towards this trend. Es Fangar is a trendsetting example for the evolution of this concept.
In total, the competition will have more than EUR 72,000 in prizes, plus a prize provided by one of the sponsors, a BMW car. In addition to the BMW international competition at the Es Fangar event, there is an exceptional range of sponsors for our discipline, with contributions from brands such as Eisenmann, Flight Sights S.L., MOS D.O.O Servis, TMG Consultants, Tech Pro, Asi Group, Unternehmensgruppe Morof, Horse-Pferdesportsysteme, Nova 5, Mabu Hay Cocktail Bar and P.A.B Romania.
An event like this would not be at this level without the best judges of the moment. The jury will be composed of five 5* International judges, consisting of German judge Katrina Wüst, Dutch expert Francis Verbeek, German judge Gotthilf Riexinger, British specialist Isobel Wessels and Swedish judge Annette Fransen-Iacobaeus; 4* judges from Spain, Juan Carlos Campos and Francisco Guerra, and Norway, Kjell Myhre; 3* judge Miguel Jordà; and Spanish national judges, Joaquin Medina, Meritxell Agramunt, Pauline Dekker, Yolanda Rama, Tote Vignau and Jorge Conde.