Final Report EQUITANA Open Air 2018: Full “house” for 20th anniversary
Credit: EQUITANA / Holger Schupp
New: Additional EQUITANA Open Air in Mannheim from 2019
Neuss. Imagine it’s your birthday and more than 43,000 guests show up. Who can claim that, if not EQUITANA Open Air? What started 20 years ago as the idea of bringing together riders and horse enthusiasts of all disciplines at a common event has developed into Germany’s largest amateur sports festival. For three days, EQUITANA Open Air once again put its best foot forward: colourful, carefree and larger than ever with more than 260 exhibitors from 13 countries.
More and more visitors travel to Neuss from abroad – from such countries as Austria, Slovakia, and even Brazil and Australia. What makes EQUITANA Open Air so attractive is the festival’s special open-air flair: “The different breeds, the riding styles, the diversity of types and people – they all shape EQUITANA Open Air. This is where they all get together”, says EQUITANA director Christina Uetz, who created the event in 1998.
Another thing that makes EQUITANA so attractive for many people is the diversity of tests, lessons and shows. More than 900 tournament and recreational riders participated, including in competitive and qualifying events for dressage riders, show jumpers, Western riders and Icelandic equestrians staged by the partner associations: the equestrian association Pferdesportverband Rheinland, the Western-riding association Erste Westernreiterunion (EWU) Rheinland, the Icelandic-horse rider and breeder association Islandpferde-Reiter- und Züchterverband (IPZV) Rheinland, and IG Welsh, a group dedicated to Welsh horses.
Another programme highlight: the newly minted Working Equitation team world champions appeared for the first time after their victory at EQUITANA Open Air. With Gernot Weber, Mitja Hinzpeter and Thomas Türmer, Germany’s most successful riders in the event presented excerpts in a short competition. “Working Equitation is a beautiful example of how EQUITANA keeps acting as a trendsetter, introducing riding styles and disciplines to a broad audience and making them popular”, says Christina Uetz.
Another highlight was the KATINA Showcup moderated by equestrian blogger Annica Hansen. This competition featured up-and-coming show talents with original liberty dressage performances, quadrilles and circus lessons. The winner was Jette Hupperts, who with her Shetty Max qualified for the next Showcup at EQUITANA 2019 in Essen.
The stands were also packed for lessons hosted by the four-time Olympic champion Nicole Uphoff-Selke (presented by EQUIVA) and Grand Prix rider Nadine Schulz (presented by the magazine Rheinlands Reiter + Pferde). On the big show night, the Pavo night on Saturday, visitors were delighted to see an anniversary programme packed with show highlights.
Premiere of EQUITANA Open Air Mannheim from 5 – 7 July 2019
EQUITANA Open Air is a success story; that’s why another edition of the popular equestrian sports festival will be held going forward. Starting in 2019, EQUITANA Open Air Mannheim will join the event in Neuss. Visitors making their way to Mannheim’s Maimarktgelände event centre will enjoy the trusted combination of exhibition and sport with numerous open-air competitions, entertainment and shopping opportunities. The event will alternate between Neuss and Mannheim each year. “In Mannheim, the event will take place in the heart of a powerful riding region. Anyone who rides knows the EQUITANA brand and what it stands for: top-notch events, successful business deals and networking in the equestrian industry”, says Hans-Joachim Erbel, CEO of organiser Reed Exhibitions Deutschland.
• EQUITANA, Equestrian Sports World Fair, Essen: 9 - 17 March 2019
• EQUITANA Open Air Mannheim: 5 - 7 July 2019
• EQUITANA Open Air Neuss: 5 - 7 June 2020
Photo (jpg, 800 KB, Credit: EQUITANA / Holger Schupp)