On Monday, March 13th FEI technical delegate Richard Papens made his first visit to the show grounds in Minden where the Pony World Driving Champioships will take place August 16-20 this year. The preparations for this sizeable event are going completely according to plan.
Papens sat in on a meeting with the organizing committee, who is headed by enthusiastic pony pair driver and businessman Christof Weihe. Other members of the committee include a number of delegates from the German Equestrian Federation. Weihe is a pony driver through and through and with his team has already hosted a number of successful shows in Minden. The goal is to have as many single, pair and four-in-hand combinations as possible compete in Minden, and as such permission to accommodate this has already been submitted to the FEI.
In order to not leave anything to chance, the well oiled team will work with a large number of volunteers and officials who were also active in Minden previous years.
The competitors will arrive on Monday, August 14th in order to unpack and acclimatize themselves before the vet inspection on Tuesday August 15th. The opening ceremonies will be held on Tuesday afternoon in the town of Minden.
The dressage will begin on Wednesday August 16th with the single ponies. In the evening a party will be held with a special grooms challenge. On Thursday August 17th the pair ponies will have their turn in the dressage ring and that evening the traditional nations night will take place. The four-in-hand ponies will drive dressage on Friday August 18th and that evening the prize giving ceremonies for the dressage will take place at the Kaiser Wilhelm Denkmal in Minden.
On Saturday August 19th all of the pony combinations will drive the marathon of eight spectator friendly obstacles, and the day will close with another lively party.
The World Championships close with the cones on Sunday August 20th where the top ten in each division will start at the end of the day to keep the suspense levels high. When the last course is driven the champions will have their moment in the sun and the competition will close with a farewell party.
Spectators are welcome in Minden and may also set up their own camping trailer, camper or tent on the fan camping adjacent to the competition grounds.
To reserve a camping site and to order tickets: www.wm-minden.de