FEI World Cup: The equestrian world looks to Amsterdam

FEI World Cup: The equestrian world looks to Amsterdam

It is one of the most important horse shows in the Netherlands – say riders and visitors. The Dutch show jumper Marc Houtzager puts it in a nutshell: “Knowing that the spectators are behind you is incredile and motivates you very much.” And Marc Houtzager was celebrated like a hero by the audience: he won the 12th World Cup stage of the show jumping riders of the current season on January 26, 2020.

 

Marc Houtzager with his mare Dante

I rode very fast, after all I saw all the fast riders, I had to give everything and the mare was fantastic. “In the jump-off he was a second faster than the competitors.” 1st place.

 

 

Jumping Amsterdam takes place in an exhibition hall. The organizers had only three and a half days to turn a congress center into a sports venue with atmosphere. Because the Amsterdam RAI trade fair is very booked.

A curtain like in a theater leads to the tournament ground. Everybody can watch there.

Who likes to sit comfortably at the sushi: On the way to the warm-up area, all riders with horses come here.

"The conditions for the horses are great," says Isabell Werth

The atmosphere is one thing, the conditions for the horse are quite another. The german dressage rider Isabell Werth is one who probably knows all the major tournaments in the world. “Amsterdam is an exceptionally beautiful indoor tournament,” she says. “It is great fun to ride here. The conditions are excellent, the sand, the space, the temperatures, big boxes for the horses. The focus is on sport, but there is also delicious eating and partying. Hardly anyone can do that as good as the Dutch.”
 
Winner Isabell Werth is of course happy about the victory with her mare Weihegold. She started five times with the horse at World Cup stages in Amsterdam and five times they won. The competition is tough. And not only the British Charlotte Dujardin with her mare Freestyle, which is impressive due to her movements and her lightness, Isabell Werth had in her neck this time. In the end, however, she was ahead with more 90 percent.

 

 
 

“It is such a great atmosphere, the crowd is always supporting and enthusiastic.They celebrate all riders.That gives us athletes so much pleasure, they carry us through the competition.”

 

 

 

The 15 year old Weihegold

Very close to the action

Jumping Amsterdam has a long tradition. Since 1958, the tournament has been held in the RAI Congress Centre. For several years, the World Cup stages of the Western Europe League have ensured an international field of participants in the dutch capital, both in jumping and dressage. Many of the best riders in the world are there. Show jumpers and dressage riders can collect valuable points for qualifying rankings in their respective World Cups.
 

 

 

“The winter tournaments in the exhibition halls are incredibly beautiful, the atmosphere, the conditions, the ground – there is space here. And the most important thing is: we are independent of the weather.”

Peter Weinberg, team leader of the Belgian show jumping riders

Visitors are not only offered top-class sport, but can also get very close to what is happening. Especially away from the competition arena, like here at the warm-up area.

Dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin after the award ceremony with a fan
And it’s hard to believe, but the organizers must have cleared the exhibition halls again in just 24 hours.

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