Plenty of guests from business and political circles

Before the best equestrian sport athletes in the…

Before the best equestrian sport athletes in the world say “goodbye” during the traditional “Farewell to the Nations” ceremony to the World Equestrian Festival, CHIO Aachen, and its unique audience today, celebrities from business and political circles visited the traditional showgrounds again. The Ministry of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen, the Chairman of Evonik Christian Kullmann, SAP Executive Board member Bernd Leukert, the Chairman of the Deutsche Bank AG, Christian Sewing, the former Federal Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg with his wife Stephanie, DOSB President Alfons Hörmann and also the NRW Minister President Armin Laschet enjoyed the atmosphere. “It is a highlight for us every year to come to Aachen, a real family outing,” commented Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.

Spectators are recovering well

After the fall of the rider Oliver Townend…

After the fall of the rider Oliver Townend during the cross-country competition on Saturday, his horse ended up in the spectator area. Two of the visitors were injured and were taken to the RWTH Aachen University Hospital. One of the spectators has in the meantime already left the clinic, the other is recovering well under the circumstances and the organisers of the event have already been able to communicate with him/her.

The Silver Camera goes to Eric Knoll

The equestrian sport has many faces. The equestrian…

The equestrian sport has many faces. The equestrian sport tells exciting stories and: The equestrian sport can be incredibly emotional. The award ceremony of the “Silver Camera” in the Main Stadium at the World Equestrian Festival, CHIO Aachen, certainly proved that on Saturday evening (July 21st), during the course of which the best equestrian photo of the year was selected.

Of course, there could only be one winner. The French photographer Eric Knoll convinced the jury– comprising of Juan Matute Guimón (dressage rider, Spain), Andreas Müller (Executive Director Zeitungsverlag Aachen), Erich Timmermanns (Director Advertising & PR Sparkasse Aachen), the photographer Michael Strauch and the ALRV Chairman Frank Kemperman – with his entry. His photo shows the show-jumper Philipp Weishaupt together with his horse jumping over an obstacle in the Grand Palais in Paris during the international equestrian show “Le Saut Hermès”, stood out among the 116 entries submitted in total. Knoll already came third in the “Silver Camera” competition last year.

Second place went to the photographer from Aachen, Luz Müller, Annette Dölger from Braunschweig came third. The prizes were awarded by Thomas Pennartz, Executive Director of the Rheinische Sparkassen & Giroverband in Düsseldorf, and Wolfgang Mainz, member of the Supervisory Board of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. (ALRV).

The famous media prize for the best equestrian photo of the year is conferred annually for the best equestrian photo by the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. together with the Sparkasse Aachen and the Rheinische Sparkassen & Giroverband. First prize receives prize-money to the value of 2,500 Euros, the first runner up receives 1,000 Euros and the second runner-up 500 Euros.

Online award “The Silver Horse”: Successful premiere

43 journalists, onliners and social media stars submitted…

43 journalists, onliners and social media stars submitted their applications and turned the premiere of the “Silver Horse” as an online award into a total success. For more than 30 years the distinction for outstanding journalistic performances was awarded in the areas Print, TV and Radio. However, in the same way that the media landscape is changing, the prize changes suit too and thus for the first time in 2018 one will be announcing: “The Silver Horse. The Online and Social Media Award in Equestrian Sport”.

The jury, comprising of the dressage rider, Nadine Capellmann (whose father Kurt Capellmann initiated the prize at the suggestion of Earl Leopold von Rothkirch and Trach ); Ute Gräfin Rothkirch and Wolfgang Brinkmann (both from the German Riding & Driving Association), Social Media star Annica Hansen and Michael Mronz (CHIO Aachen), was impressed by the diversity and quality of the submitted entries. Blogs and social media platforms were among the submissions as well as classic media that have mastered the transformation into the digital world in a wide variety of ways.

The nominees are (in alphabetical order):

  • Juliane Barth for her blog
  • Harriet Charlotte Jensen for her overall concept
  • Gabriele Pochhammer for her blog “Moment Mal!” (Just a moment!) at
  • Nina Kaupp for her overall concept
  • Robin Schuster for the overall concept for “Marina und die Ponys” (Marina and the Ponies)

The winner will be announced during the Opening Ceremony of the CHIO Aachen 2018 on July 17th. The five best entries will be placed, the winning entry will receive the “Silver Horse” and prize-money to the value of 3,000 Euros. Second place will be rewarded with 2,000 Euros and third place is endowed with 1,000 Euros. 500 Euros goes to fourth and fifth place apiece. The prize is conferred jointly by the German Riding & Driving Association (DRFV), the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. (ALRV), Gina Capellmann-Lütkemeier and Nadine Capellmann.

A Chinese summer fairytale at the Soers

Sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, sometimes philosophical, sometimes warlike…

Sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, sometimes philosophical, sometimes warlike – the Opening Ceremony at the CHIO Aachen 2018 was colourful and full of surprises!


The partner country China presented a cultural, artistic and musical extravaganza in a class of its own in front of the crowd in the sold-out Main Stadium. 40,000 spectators enjoyed the open-air, floodlit show performance while the sun was setting. Around 250 horses and 1,000 participants, including many extras turned the 90-minute official opening event of the World Equestrian Festival into a wonderful evening.


But even before the German show-jumper Laura Klaphake and her Chinese colleague, Mei Mei Zhu – the only Chinese athlete competing this year – officially opened the CHIO Aachen 2018 with a brief speech, tribute was paid to an outstanding show-jumper: Hans Günter Winkler, who passed away at the beginning of July. A moving moment in the Main Stadium. A small remembrance ceremony for “HGW” will be held in the late afternoon on Wednesday.

Under the motto “Huanying China” (Welcome China) many different groups impressively conjured up the fascination of the partner country on the “Holy Grass”. Not only a kung fu show with 60 kung fu fighters, a “Yin & Yang” riding and dance choreography comprising of 100 riders and 100 dancers, the Terracotta Army as well as a lion and dragon dance were further items on the show’s agenda. Furthermore, the children’s choir of the Chinese School also made an appearance accompanied by the mezzo-soprano Sissi Qi Wang and 150 children holding Chinese lanterns. The music formed the background for a danced fashion show performed by the traditional Club of Chinese Scientists and Students, clad in traditional Chinese costumes.


The performance of the Chinese National Circus was one of the highlights of the evening. The artists amazed the crowds with vase juggling, diabolo, contorsion, handstand and Tai-Chi acts all performed on horse-drawn carriages decorated with Chinese lanterns. The drummers of the “Manao Drums of China” group also impressed the audience with strength, power and plenty of rhythm. They already opened the Olympic Games in Peking in 2008 with their drum roll, ten years later they opened the show at the Soers with their captivating musical choreographies. The crowning finale of the Opening Ceremony was a wonderful firework display that illuminated the evening sky at the Soers.

Celebrities at the Media Night

The red carpet is traditionally rolled out for…

The red carpet is traditionally rolled out for the horses at the renowned World Equestrian Festival, CHIO Aachen. However, on one evening the interest of the photographers shifts to the entrance of the Champions’ Circle, when the guests from the media and sport, society, politics and business circles arrive for the CHIO Aachen Media Night.

It is THE gala evening at Germany’s largest sporting event. And it is also always the catwalk for many personalities in the public eye. For Lilly Becker it was the first public appearance since the separation from her husband, Boris Becker. She came to Aachen accompanied by the entrepreneur, Jens Hilbert, “It is a totally new world for me, very exciting and very nice.” The actress Uschi Glas, the Minister for Health Jens Spahn, the actor Heino Ferch and his wife Marie-Jeanette also visibly felt at home, as well North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet and Elisabetta Canalis. The model was invited to the Soers by the co-host, Hermann Bühlbecker. All of the guests not only enjoyed the Media Night, but were also enchanted by the CHIO Aachen Opening Ceremony that was characterised by this year’s partner country, China. Afterwards, they celebrated in the Champions’ Circle until the early hours – and enjoyed exquisite catering prepared among others by the star chef, Harald Wohlfahrt.

Huanying China

It has long since become tradition that the…

It has long since become tradition that the partner country of the CHIO Aachen is welcomed on the market place in Aachen. And so the citizens of Aachen crowded in front of historical Town Hall on Monday evening when this year’s partner country China presented an exciting show comprising of acrobatics, music, culture and dancing in the heart of the city – and thus offered a foretaste of what can be expected at the Opening Ceremony tomorrow (8.15 p.m. live on WDR).

“We not only ordered special weather today, but also a special partner country at our side. I am particularly delighted that the community of Chinese people living in Aachen is taking part in this reception today and tomorrow during the Opening Ceremony,” stated Carl Meulenbergh, President of the organisers of the CHIO, the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. (ALRV). The Lord Mayor, Marcel Philipp, pointed out in his welcome speech that China has already had a fixed place in the Imperial City for decades: “There are many connections between Aachen and China. We have maintained a partnership with Ningbo for 32 years, there are school exchanges, business relations and many visitors from China. It is now a great pleasure to be able to celebrate this in the field of equestrian sports too.”

Even before the exceptional convoy of carriages headed by the City Riders of Aachen and the flag bearers reached the market square at 6 p.m., the CHIO mascot Karli and the musician Liang Dong got everyone in the mood for a one-hour open-air festival. A fantasy-like show dotted with poesy followed. Not only two horses from the world-famous Terracotta Army pranced proudly over the cobble stones, also the lion dance – an old Far Eastern custom accompanied by drums and cymbals – made up part of the agenda. Various artists from the Chinese National Circus demonstrated agility, a wealth of skill and elegance and revived the 2000-year history of Chinese acrobatics.

The Chinese community that lives in the Imperial City were also part of the programme. The children’s choir from the Chinese school rendered a version of a poetic song – an ode to jasmine blossoms. The young musicians were accompanied by the mezzo-soprano, Sissi Qi Wang, the A-cappella choir of the RWTH Aachen and the traditional instrument, the erhu, played by Yao Wang. The traditional Aachen Club of Chinese Scientists and Students enchanted the spectators with a “danced” fashion show, where imaginative clothing from different Chinese dynasties was presented. Here modern met tradition! During the finale, four young ladies really demonstrated their hitting power. The group “Manao – Drums of China” already opened the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. Now they caused a huge drum roll in Aachen with their drumming skills.

Furthermore, Wenbo He, Consul for Culture from the General Consulate of the People’s Republic of China also attended the ceremony: “I am delighted that China was chosen as this year’s partner country for the World Equestrian Festival.” The NRW Premier, Armin Laschet, who already attended this event last year announced: “I am very pleased about this partner country. At the same time we can show the Chinese guests, how well Aachen can organised such a major sporting event.”

30,000 at Soers Sunday

The place: perfect. The weather: perfect. The atmosphere:…

The place: perfect. The weather: perfect. The atmosphere: perfect. Soers Sunday, the traditional Open Day at the CHIO Aachen brought with it all ingredients for a perfect day this year. Around 30,000 people came to the showgrounds at the Soers on Sunday.

A diversified programme with free admission awaited them. Not only the CHIO Village with more than 210 exhibitors and a wide range of catering options was well-attended, but also the many attractions dotted around everywhere encouraged the visitors to spend time, marvel and join in. “The people from Aachen simply love ‘their’ Soers Sunday. Many of them have been planning it as a fixed family outing for years,” said Show Director, Frank Kemperman. “When we introduced this event as the Open Day exactly 20 years ago, it was planned as a one-time gift to the citizens of Aachen. That’s how things sometimes turn out (laughing). Today, 30,000 people were here, the weather was fantastic – a perfect day. Let’s hope that is how it continues,” said Kemperman.

Following tradition, the day kicked off at 11.30 a.m. in the Deutsche Bank Stadium with a festive Ecumenical Service under the motto “Noah’s Arc”. A children’s choir lent the open-air event the appropriate, pleasant musical background. However, the official starting shot didn’t go off until 1 p.m. on the jumping warm-up area, which was followed by a colourful entertainment programme. The best places in the front row of the “green stage” filled quickly. Because everyone wanted to have the best view of the exceptional show acts. Following the fast-paced motto “Shetty PS, full speed ahead to vacation time” speedy Shetland ponies from the St. Medarus Zülpich Driving Club took the training area by storm. The Fohlenhof Farbenfroh also brought Shetland ponies with them to Aachen and delighted the spectators with their show performance “Miniature Spanish Riding School”. The pony forecast for today’s World Cup Final (which incidentally predicted France as the clear winner), foals, a show act entitled “Cowboys and Indians” by the Biesenbach Riding School and impressive Mustangs rounded off the agenda. In between the five disciplines at the CHIO were graphically presented and explained..

But there was plenty more the small visitors to discover: There was a choice between pony rides, visiting the play trailer of the Rhenish Rural Youth alongside the Driving Stadium and the exciting “Children’s Nature Trail”, where equipped with a stamp card they could visit various different stations. A gift from the CHIO Aachen fan shop awaited all of the diligent gatherers. Of course, the CHIO mascot Karli was out and about all over the showgrounds and posed for souvenir photos.

In the scope of the charity campaign “Moments of Luck”, the four therapy centres from the region presented their self-choreographed programme to the crowd at the Soers Sunday audience, whilst donations were collected across the entire showgrounds for the campaign. This year the charity initiative celebrated its 20th anniversary.