CHIO Aachen Everyone’s odds-on favourite!
When business associates, friends and acquaintances part company with the words, “See you in Soers!”, there’s no mistaking that CHIO – the great World Equestrian Festival – is nearly here.
- Stands for: Concours Hippique International Officiel
- engl.: Official International Equestrian Competition
- First tournament: 1924
- Over 350,000 visitors each year
- Over 500 journalists and 200 TV staff report from the tournament
Don’t suggest pegging any dates in the diary when CHIO’s on – you’ll make no friends! – unless, of course, you want to meet up in the hospitality village at the tournament ground when people come together to wet their whistles at the “Rund-Oxer” beer stall or sip champagne in the winners’ enclosure. Elegant in hats, or smart-casual with folding chairs, rugs and picnic baskets. Don’t forget your umbrella – whatever the weather’s doing, you can be sure it’ll rain at CHIO!
World Equestrian Festival in Aachen
Year-in year-out, visitors flock to Aachen in their hundreds of thousands to see the horses and spend a week at what is labelled the “World Equestrian Festival”. What they experience at the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein’s (Racing Association) tournament ground in Soers and indeed right across Aachen is a unique atmosphere and the inimitable passion Aacheners have for horses.
This Mecca for jumping and dressage as well as driving, which was expanded in 2007 to include vaulting and eventing, is recognised as the most up-to-date tournament facility in the world since its inaugural hosting – to rave reviews – of the 2006 World Equestrian Games in seven equestrian disciplines.
CHIO, though, isn’t just about sport at its highest level – it’s a festival event too, and every rider that’s ever crossed the starting line has been full of praise for the spectators who readily show their reverence for the two and four-legged stars of the turf with adulation that’s as infectious as it is generous. One legendary and much-loved tradition called the “Farewell to the Nations” has Aacheners and their guests waving white handkerchiefs as a fitting send-off to riders from different nations of the world, each time confirming the quotation of one well-known equestrian journalist, “Aachen and horses – go together like a horse and carriage. There’s no other Aachen!”.
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