The CHIO Aachen: the world festival of equestrian sports.
Major international event.
Absolute silence in the stands. Spellbound, visitors hold their breath. Only the dull, rhythmic beating of hooves on the stadium floor can be heard. This captivating atmosphere will again be experienced throughout the Aachen stadium this year. The world festival of equestrian sports, the CHIO Aachen, will take place from 11 to 20 July 2014. The abbreviation CHIO stands for the French name “Concours Hippique International Officiel”. This equestrian tournament is one of the most renowned international equestrian events. In the five disciplines of jumping, dressage, versatility, four-in-hand and vaulting, a total of 375 riders, drivers and vaulters from 30 nations with 533 horses will demonstrate their ability in this year’s competition.
This major event casts a spell over friends of equestrian sports from all around the world. Live on-site, around 360,000 people share the thrill in the stadiums; the tournament is also broadcast to more than 140 countries.
The capital of equestrian sports.
The international equestrian tournament has a long tradition: In 1898, cattle dealers, landowners and farmers in the imperial city founded the “Laurensberger Rennverein” (Laurensberg Racing Association) and organised equestrian competitions to entertain the population of Aachen. At the time, nobody could have suspected that these recreational competitions would develop into a major global event. At the beginning of the 1920s, the racing association moved to the spacious tournament grounds of the Aachen Soers, which is still the location of this equestrian tournament. The first international tournament was organised in 1927; only two years later the first Nations Cup took place and heralded the beginning of the CHIO era. From then on, in addition to international equestrian greats, it regularly drew horse lovers and very important people from around the world to the Aachen equestrian stadiums in order to experience the tournaments and the unique mood.
A special partnership.
In addition to the competitors’ achievements, there is another reason to celebrate this year: Mercedes-Benz and the CHIO Aachen are celebrating the 60th anniversary of a special partnership. A highlight of this multi-day equestrian competition is the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup on 17 July 2014. Once again each year, the world’s best riders and horses amaze visitors in the stands of the equestrian stadium that is bathed in floodlights. In two rounds, teams of four people compete against each other in a team jumping contest. The three best team results per round are evaluated. The nation with the lowest number of errors wins the lucrative Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup, which will be presented this year by German Federal President Joachim Gauck.
Once the last hurdle has been cleared, the tournament visitors can no longer hold back their emotions. The reverent silence out of consideration for the often-skittish horses turns into a joyful celebration. Delight at the sporting achievements and relief that horse and rider have completed the round successfully and without incident spread equally through the stands.
The intoxicating atmosphere in the Aachen Soers stadiums leaves no visitor unmoved. Quite the opposite – the tournament is guaranteed to produce some gripping moments!