Companion horse in Leipzig: three shows in tough times, great play and record prize money

Qualifikation zur Weltcup-Prüfung der Springreiter im Longines FEI Jumping World Cup.

Leipzig. Messe boss Martin Buhl-Wagner made one point at the press conference on Monday: Partner Pfford could not be in 2022 on a “normal” date in January. But from April 6 to 10, she will celebrate her return after 27 months! The spring date is entirely due to the fact that Leipzig had already been awarded the contract to host the World Cup final for the third time after 2002 and 2011, long before the pandemic. Like eleven years ago, in all four indoor disciplines: jumping, dressage, driving and vaulting. Till now no other organizer has managed this huge event.

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“I’m glad we have this wonderful event here again”

“We can only use part of the experience from 2011,” emphasized organizer Volker Wolf: “Many conditions have changed for us. The whole qualification was also unclear for a long time. ”The first half of autumn was good. Winter. In the second half of 2014, the calendar was thinned out due to the pandemic.” The situation in Gothenburg was tragic, where the organizers had to cancel everything three weeks earlier because there were no signs of politics. Seven days later, suddenly everything opened up in Sweden. We feel especially sorry for the people of Gothenburg. But now we want to look further.”

Scroll Through: Qualifying at the FEI Jumping World Cup – Partner Pferd 2020

Partner Horse 2020: the implications of qualifying for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup

Now organizers and riders await the first major event in more than two years at the grandstands at full capacity. People are hungry for the event, there are still some tickets for all five days.

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Harald Langenfeld, CEO of main sponsor Sparkasse Leipzig, said: “The events of the last two weeks in Ukraine disappoint me.” But horse companions aren’t the only distraction for him. “I’m glad we have this wonderful event here again – I think it’s sensational that after eleven years it’s also the World Cup final again.” Live with the fear that we only know from history. That’s why we take social responsibility.” The head of the sports department, Katja Buchel, recalled “that we were able to assert ourselves in the field of applicants with Saudi Arabia and the Emirates”. And it’s a crowd puller.

Inauguration Day, 6 April, is dedicated to regional riders. Thursday’s elite time competition already sets the course for the show jumpers’ overall standings. Along with the World Cup there are also interesting and well-paid trials, as not all stars qualify for the Grand Final. Even Leipzig serial winner Christian Ahlmann could not make it due to the short qualifying calendar. “It doesn’t work without Christian,” said Wolf, who will nonetheless welcome the 47-year-old into his Leipzig “living room” at the new trade fair.

Dressage world class around pregnant Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Isabel Werth will be honored in Leipzig. Worth won the World Cup 30 years ago, and the 52-year-old in Leipzig wants to say goodbye to his successful horse Wehegold as he retires. In the vault, three-time Leipzig winner Jannik Heiland from Hamburg awaits the unique atmosphere at the new trade fair. The favourite, however, is multiple world champion Lambert Leclezio of France. In driving four-in-hand, a full women’s trio around Mareik Harm from Neumünster qualified for the final for the first time. “The competition features indoor specialists with small, especially agile horses. For me, the outdoor team is at the beginning – the horses really want to go indoors,” says the 37-year-old. The women’s trio was the reason Volker Wolf insisted: “We have four disciplines in which both a woman and a man can win the World Cup.”

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The increase in cost affected the organizer on all fronts. Volker Wolf gave an example: “In 2018 we committed ourselves to transporting horses from the United States, Canada and Mexico. The cost per horse has doubled since 2018 to $16,000. Still: in Leipzig, the largest total prize money in World Cup history, 2.09 million euros, will be awarded to riders. The tried-and-tested show character of the fellow horse will also be expanded. This time from Thursday to Saturday there will be a gala on three consecutive evenings – a quadrille with international stars and 24 stately stallions from German studs. Due to the situation in their country, Ukrainian Cossacks who have already been booked cannot come. “But we will address your regretful absence,” says Volker Wolf: “We place the fee as a basis in a donation pot, which will hopefully raise a large sum for Ukraine.”

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