2015 European Dressage Championships in Aachen Could Attract Record Dressage Crowds

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Dressage arena during opening ceremony of the 2006 World Equestrian Gamaes in Aachen, Germany that will be the stage for European Championshps dressage in 2015. © Ken Braddck/dressage-news.com
Dressage arena during opening ceremony of the 2006 World Equestrian Gamaes in Aachen, Germany that will be the stage for European Championshps dressage in 2015. © Ken Braddck/dressage-news.com

Oct. 22, 2014

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

The European Dressage Championships along with championships in driving, jumping, reining and vaulting as well as a CIOC3* event at Aachen, Germany next year may be seen by record crowds, perhaps twice as many spectators than last summer’s World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.

Dressage will be staged over four days–two days for the Grand Prix Prix Nations Cup and a day each for the Special and the Freestyle–in the 40,000-seat main stadium as it was at the 2006 World Games, the most successful of the international equestrian sports extravaganzas held once every four years.

The dressage arena will be placed on the grass field in the main stadium that is typically used for jumping at the world’s best attended and most prestigious horse show.

The Europeans Championships of five of the eight international disciplines–endurance and paradressage are not on the program and the eventing is not a championship-are held every two years and next year will be staged Aug. 11 to 23.

The Deutsche Bank Stadium, already expanded to seat 6,000 spectators to accommodate sellout crowds for dressage at the annual CHIO, is having a roof installed to be used for the reining and vaulting championships.

Dressage at the World Games in Normandy drew a total of 83,000 spectators  over four days.

With the stadium almost sold out for the Freestyle and most seats sold for the the Special, the number of spectators for Aachen is expected to easily surpass the Normandy WEG total.

The 2006 WEG, the most successful of the combined world championships since they were inaugurated in 1990, attracted more than 570,000 spectators while Normandy claimed 565,000, though official figures listed the total number of spectators at the seven sports at 358,600. The 2010 Games at Lexington, Kentucky reported 419,000 spectators (a total of 507,200 “attendees” that included volunteers and other non-paying visitors).

Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain on Valegro is the defending European individual champion and Fabienne Lütkemeier/D‘Agostino, Isabell Werth/Don Johnson FRH, Kristina Sprehe/Desperados FRH and Helen Langehanenberg/Damon Hill NRW won the team title for Germany.

In addition to the expansion of the Deutsche Bank stadium and dressage arenas that were completed for this year’s CHIO, parts of the stands in the main stadium are being refurbished and renovated and a new stable building constructed. Free WiFi will be available throughout the entire show grounds.

A total of 450,000 spectators are expected for the championships for which €24 million (US$30 million) is budgeted.

Prize money will total about €1.76 million (US$2.2 million).

Ticket and other information are available at: <ahref=”http://www.aachen2015.de”>www.aachen2015.de