The World Equestrian Festival, CHIO Aachen, has been writing chapters in history since the early 1920s. One such chapter came to a happy end during the last event, Otto Becker was able to finally win the Mercedes-Benz Nations’ Cup as national coach of the German show-jumping team – it had taken eight attempts. “At last, I won’t have to hear any more stupid comments about it,” grinned Becker during a press conference on the CHIO Aachen 2017 (July 14th-23rd).
230 days before the traditional CHIO Aachen begins, together with the national coach the organisers presented the programme during the “Salut-Festival Aachen”, the show for aspiring young riders. The highlights are some of the most famous competitions in the world – alongside the Mercedes-Benz Nations’ Cup, of course the Rolex Grand Prix in show jumping, the Deutsche Bank Prize and Lambertz Nations’ Cup in dressage and the DHL Prize in eventing.
Otto Becker tried to describe how much it means to the athletes to win here: “The victory here on Thursday evening in this floodlit arena, in front of this fantastic crowd in this atmosphere, that was a totally goose bump feeling, these are moments one never forgets.” But an exciting supporting programme also contributes towards the special atmosphere in Aachen. “For example, in the form of the Lavazza Prize, we have introduced a new format, a combination between four-in-hand drivers, show-jumpers and eventers. The spectators were absolutely over the moon,” commented Frank Kemperman, Chairman of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. (ALRV), the organisers of the event. This “fun competition” (Kemperman) will definitely become a fixed item of the agenda of the CHIO Aachen on the Saturday evening.
The visitors can also look forward to traditional carriages and historical types of harnessing. However, on the first weekend, we will be able to experience the former not only at the show grounds, but indeed all over the Aachen city region. On Saturday, July 15th, 2017, the carriages will be awaited on the market square in Aachen – including a professional commentary on the original carriages and equipment.
The Opening Ceremony on Tuesday evening was a huge success at the last CHIO Aachen. “Here our new concept of a completely choreographed show proved to be a real hit,” said Kemperman. As a result, the spectators can once again look forward to 90 minutes of perfect entertainment at next year’s event.
Tickets are still available for the show, as well as for all disciplines, whereby they are running short in some categories. Tickets can be ordered online (www.chioaachen.de) or from the hotline (+49-(0)241-917-1111). “I can already promise you today, the CHIO Aachen is going to be an outstanding event again,” according to ALRV President, Carl Meulenbergh. Or as Otto Becker put it: “The CHIO Aachen is unique all over the world, everything is simply special here.”