World Young Horse Champs coverage begins at Verden

10 years ago ilse Comments Off on World Young Horse Champs coverage begins at Verden

International jumping and dressage festival, Verden, Germany. Very organized chaos! © 2011 Ilse Schwarz/


VERDEN, Germany, Aug. 4–In future I shall restrain myself from complaining about anything other than footing in the warm-up arena. Verden is a unique experience. Depending on your preference you can watch three and four year old horses competing in groups of three, watch seasoned FEI riders schooling for the CDI3* or watch the world championships for five and six year olds in both jumping and dressage.

With so much happening at any one time, the warm ups are crowded, but I was still astonished to see Isabell Werth schooling her Prix St George horse amidst approximately 10 four-year-old stallions all while the arena was being dragged! The tractor driver did his thing, Isabell did hers, and both managed to avoid hitting any unruly stallions without missing a stride.

Of course, I had stepped outside the press room for a quiet coffee and apple Danish… without my camera… never again! Silly me.

Ilse and her beer, it seems it has become important in my travels, obviously this was from WEG, Kentucky. © Ken Braddick/

I seem to recall that in 2010, my coverage began with a comment about there being beer in the press room. I’m not sure if we have any here this year, but beer was still a memorable moment on the day of my arrival in 2011.

I arrived uneventfully from West Palm Beach Wednesday, Aug. 3; alas my luggage was not so lucky. It had caught the plane after me and would arrive some 12 hours later. Scarily enough, I am semi-prepared for such an event. Since increasing my international travels to at least four or five flights per year it seems my baggage misses about 50 per cent of the flights. I have used a variety of different pieces of luggage (the current victim is BRIGHT green and difficult to miss) but the result remains the same. My husband laughs at the quantity of hand luggage that I carry, but at least I know I have some toiletries, a COMPLETE clean change of clothes and, depending why I am traveling, my boots, helmet and gloves, or in this case, all my camera equipment.

Landhaus Tewel, Neuenkirchen. Delightfully quaint AND with free wi-fi! © 2011 Ilse Scgwarz/

Back to the beer! The showgrounds at Verden were pretty quiet on Wednesday so I located my hotel early and thought I would get this story well underway. My hotel, Landhaus Tewel, was adorable, comfortable and had free internet so I pulled out my computer only to realize that I had my USA to Germany power adapter in my CHECKED baggage…duh! The battery on my MacBook is not what it used to be, so I abandoned the idea of working and decided to do some scenic driving.

The hotel owner had advised me of an outdoor music festival in Schneverdingen, only six miles (10 km) away (we are in Germany so it was almost EXACTLY 10 kilometers. Had we been in Australia, I’m sure I would have traveled at least 15 kilometers before finding the fesitval!!. My bags were scheduled to arrive at a time I would normally be eating dinner, so I bought food “to go” and a six-pack of Warsteiner to take to my room. Great idea but no bottle opener… I am not Australian for nothing and we are resourceful when it comes to beer. No, I did not use my teeth, Dad is a dentist after all, but door jambs are a very versatile utility…