CHIO Aachen: Legendary Disaster?

By Real Riderz

CHIO Aachen is a legendary competition, no doubt about. Compared to the Wimbledon of the horse sport, the most well known arena in the facility is the beautiful jumping stadium. It is surrounded by enormous grand stands with loud, cheering people. There is shopping and food and other events to look at (including cross country!)

However, despite all of the greatness of the main arena, it is also one of the most disorganized events of this sorts. It starts with the parking (if you don’t reserve you’ll have to park either pretty far away or for ten euros on grass), al viewers are constantly asked to show their tickets (sometimes the ticket checker will let you in and other times not), there are lots of people walking around/making random noises in the middle of the course (many seem to be there just for the sake of it), course walks happen during prize giving, there are a bunch of random stores that nobody really needs (a lot of them non horse related, they even sell jacuzzis there), food is everywhere but there’s also a lot of food like simple fries with mayo (you have to really search to find the good stuff like grilled salmon and curry, which we highly recommend as they are both incredible). However, the cherry on top is that you have to pay for toilets (which are in limited quantities and have big queues).

There’s no doubt that competing in Aachen is a huge deal, just watching the show is a huge deal. The crowd is electric (sometimes crazily so and even to an excess causing some slightly spooky moments) and the riders (and horses) are great. There’s also no doubt that if you pay a little more for access to places like the Turkish airline stand/riders area near the warm up (or if you’re lucky enough to get though even with a normal ticket) you’ll get access to slightly better area with better overall facilities. You’ll also have more chances of meeting the star riders (the media center is there!) However, this should not be an excuse for the lack of facilities for normal people, especially considering that the show has been going for such a long period of time.

So what are the biggest areas of improvement to make the experience better for the people, and probably the horses as well (less commotion?) Looking into the small details and investing a bit more into facilities for the giant crowd of people that come every year (no more people sitting underneath empty grand stands or a euro per toilet usage!) Build a bigger parking lot, have more toilet, have less people standing around checking tickets everywhere, maybe put all the food in one place and shopping in another, etc. Otherwise, it’s a competition that everyone (in just about any English discipline) has to see at least once in their lifetime.

Published by realriderz

Many riders coming together to make our horses' (and our own) voices heard

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