Reining is one of the five disciplines of the FEI European Championships Aachen 2015 (August 11th-23rd). In an interview, Frank Kemperman, Chairman of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. (ALRV), organisers of the event, explained what the most urgent tasks are over the coming weeks and why the European Championships are a fantastic opportunity for the reiners.
Question: Two months before the European Championships begin…
Frank Kemperman: …we are immensely looking forward to it. I hope that you still all recall the tremendous World Championships in the year 2006. Actually, we just want to carry on where we left off back then.
Question: Reining is not one of the CHIO Aachen disciplines…
Kemperman: That’s right, which is why we have got Johannes Orgeldinger, an experienced expert, on board. Having the reiners here is not only exciting for the traditional CHIO spectators, but also for the western riders. Because they are a very well-functioning, but closed community. We are giving them the opportunity to reach a large audience. Not just on-site at the showgrounds, but in particular via live TV broadcasts. Furthermore, many hundreds of journalists will be accredited, who will do coverage on the sport. On the other hand, it also gives the other athletes the chance to get a feel for western riding.
Question: Which is totally in line with your concept.
Kemperman: That’s correct. Five disciplines – one location. That is our idea. This not only encompasses all of the competition sites being within walking distance of each other, but of course also the exchange between the different disciplines. There will be around 60 western riders here, let’s see how many of them will take this opportunity to visit the other disciplines.
Question: The first Western horse will enter the ring on August 14th. What still has to be done prior to that?
Kemperman: The Deutsche Bank Stadium is a great arena for the reiners. We will erect a temporary roof over the stadium and of course change the footing. At the moment, the Geomix footing that the dressage riders use is still in the arena. As soon as the roof has been completed, we will start work on the new footing: Clay underneath with sand on top.
Question: How will the roof be put on the stadium?
Kemperman: The large parts will be pushed into the arena and then erected from there. We are cooperating with a special Dutch company that has a lot of experience with such tent roof constructions. Work will commence at the beginning of July and everything will be completed by mid-July.
Question: Can you remember what it was like in 2006, when reining was one of the disciplines of the World Equestrian Games in Aachen?
Kemperman: Oh, it was loud, it really attracted the crowds, the spectators cheered and applauded loudly. It was an experience being there and I am already immensely looking forward to it again.
For more information on the FEI European Championships please vist: www.aachen2015.de