22.05.2024 16:11

A chance encounter at an event got the…

A chance encounter at an event got the ball rolling: Birgit Rosenberg, Member of the Managing Board of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein (ALRV), and Prof. Dr. Dirk Winter started talking about the topic of the scientific examination of animal welfare. Several telephone calls and a few months later, a significant project was born: the CHIO Aachen Scientist Circle.

This alliance comprises of eight voluntary scientists and horse experts from Germany, Belgium and Switzerland and occupies itself with the well-being of sport horses. The question posed, which was already addressed during CHIO Aachen 2023, is: How do the show horses feel during their stay at the CHIO Aachen compared to in their stables at home? The aim of the survey is to collect well-founded data on the status quo and find ways of making the horses’ stay more pleasant in future, so that they are offered the best possible conditions. On board last year: Four international show horses, which were monitored round-the-clock using AI-supported camera technology and whose stress levels were determined among others by measuring the faecal cortisol level.


The initial evaluations leave the scientists optimistic. “The observation has led to the positive conclusion that although the horses spend more time in the stable during the show in Aachen compared to when at home, they were kept occupied and exercised a lot,” explained Prof. Winter, Academic Dean Equine Management at the Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Applied Science. Since the scientists of the CHIO Aachen Scientist Circle feel that the topic is very important and the examinations are to be further expanded at the coming shows, they are being assisted meanwhile by the PhD student, Leonie Krüger. Among others, in the course of her doctorate she will be responsible for evaluating the data collected so far. The cortisol samples taken during the show in 2023 comprised of samples from four days at the home yard, during the transportation to Aachen, while training and competing on-site, during the return transport and the following three days at home.


Leonie Krüger reported on the evaluation of the samples from the pilot survey: “Cortisol is produced during physical and psychological stress, which is why the level increased on the competition days. That is totally logical. The curve of the rider would probably be similar. The further cortisol levels that were taken while the horses were stabled in Aachen were pretty low.” The scientist interpreted these initial results as follows: “The transportation and the training in Aachen apparently didn’t have a great effect in terms of the stress level. And we were able to determine that once home the horses returned to the pre-competition level again very soon after the show.”



Pilot survey becomes an experimental design for the coming years

Krüger and Winter warn against an overevaluation or misinterpretation of the initial findings. “Science takes time. We cannot make any well-founded, definitive statements yet,” the PhD student emphasised. Winter added, “We now have an initial evaluation, but we can’t come to any deductions or general conclusions based on four horses.” To change this a much higher number of horses will take part in the survey during the CHIO Aachen 2024 already – at least twelve.


“We are looking ahead to the future. We will develop the experimental design for the next years based on the pilot survey. It has to be expedient and cover the right parameters so that we can come to really scientifically-based conclusions about the well-being of horses while stabled at shows,” explained Leonie Krüger. Among others, the monitoring per camera is to be enhanced by a direct observation of the animals. Beyond this the essential factors of the air in the stable are to be determined by sensors. It was noted that after monitoring around 30 to 40 horses within an overall period of three years, it will then be possible to come to a sound conclusion. However, the scientists are not expecting a final result in the classic sense. “There will always be new factors that influence the animals’ well-being, which we will have to examine,” they agreed. That is also why the CHIO Aachen Scientist Circle will be committed to the theme animal welfare long-term.


To ensure that the horses are monitored as well as possible in the future, Prof. Dr. Winter can also imagine having all the stables in Aachen fitted with cameras. “This would enable the organisers and the riders to demonstrate for instance that the living conditions of the horses are closely monitored.” Further possibilities of how additional animal welfare aspects can be monitored are being examined. “We are currently occupying ourselves with the application of further innovative, technical methods,” Winter revealed.


The CHIO Aachen could thus possibly also serve as a role model for other shows, even if the conditions for the horses do vary everywhere. Dirk Winter is convinced: “Aachen is the most important show worldwide. Other organisers could orientate themselves on the best possible standards we are developing here in the future.”


You can find all information about the Scientist Circle here.

CHIO Aachen website


17.05.2024 16:10

First-class, emotional, international. That is how to describe…

First-class, emotional, international. That is how to describe the CHIO Aachen. The athletes that compete here, can write history. With a victory in the probably most well-known competitions in the world. As on the Sunday morning, for example, in the Grand Prix Freestyle, which will once again this year captivate 6,300 spectators. When the stars of the scene compete in the Dressage Grand Prix of Aachen in 2024, they will be battling it out to take the victory in the Lindt-Prize. Because the Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli GmbH is extending its commitment to the World Equestrian Festival.

The Swiss chocolate manufacturer, Lindt & Sprüngli, is the global leader in the premium chocolate segment. The German subsidiary is located in Aachen, where the company has already partnered Germany’s biggest sporting event since 1992. “The CHIO Aachen is an ideal partner because of our joint association with Aachen. Both organisations enjoy a long tradition, have an international alignment and represent values such as quality and innovation. This unites us and we are thus delighted to expand our partnership,” Michal Spiller, CEO of Lindt & Sprüngli Germany, stated.


The best horses, the best riders, the best sport in an incomparable atmosphere – this is the claim of the CHIO Aachen that is staged in five disciplines. Competing in Aachen is at the same time both a fascination and a challenge. The athletes call it “riding with goosebumps”, when they dive into this ambiance and experience these special moments. Riding to victory one time in Aachen, writing history and eternalising one’s name on the legendary winners’ board at the perimeter of the Main Stadium – that is their joint dream. When the Chocaldefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli GmbH began its partnership with the CHIO Aachen in 1992, Isabell Werth was able to fulfil this dream for the first time with her superstar Gigolo after triumphing in the Dressage Grand Prix of Aachen. In the meantime, with 14 victories under her belt, the German equestrian sport icon is the record winner of the most important dressage competition at the World Equestrian Festival, which bears the name the Lindt-Prize with immediate effect. Alongside her, current top stars of the dressage scene such as double Olympic champion Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, three-time Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and team world champion Cathrine Dufour (DEN) were also able to immortalise themselves on the winner’s board.


Totally in line with the motto for the partner country of the CHIO Aachen 2024 – the USA – Michael Mronz, the General Manager of the Aachener Reitturnier GmbH, considers the interplay between the Swiss traditional company and the biggest equestrian sport event in the world as a “perfect match”. “The CHIO Aachen not only stands for top sport and a top event, but also for reliable partnerships. The fact that the Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli GmbH has been engaging itself in this form for such a long time and has now expanded its commitment is a clear sign of its esteem and underlines the appeal of the CHIO Aachen,” Mronz said happily.


This appeal will be evident again on July 7th, 2024, when the dressage stars battle it out in the Lindt-Prize. Will Isabell Werth be able to add a further victory to her impressive list of triumphs in the Grand Prix Freestyle at the CHIO Aachen or will another rider fulfil his or her personal childhood dream and have their name inscribed on the legendary winners’ board for the first time? Just like the equestrian sport icon, Isabell Werth, succeeded in doing in the year the Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli GmbH began its cooperation with the CHIO Aachen.


03.05.2024 16:08

Last year the shop-window competition became the “Tschio…

Last year the shop-window competition became the “Tschio Chic” Campaign – and the response within the region was overwhelming.
The Aachener Zeitung, the Märkte & Aktionskreis City (MAC), the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e. V., the StädteRegion Aachen and the City of Aachen are inviting businesses to lend their creativity a free rein again during the CHIO Aachen 2024.

Whether hotels, retail outlets or restaurants – everyone can take part and decorate their lobby or shop window in Tschio style, place a CHIO Aachen cocktail on the menu, organise a motto evening or the likes … Creativity pays off: All participants receive tickets for the “Horse & Symphony” concert in the Deutsche Bank Stadium on Friday, June 28th, 2024 and have the great opportunity to win fantastic cash and promotional prizes.


All of the participants receive a decoration starter package with motifs promoting the CHIO Aachen partner country, the United States of America and “100 years of equestrian show history” at the Soers. The campaign period runs from June 10th until the last day of the CHIO Aachen on July 7th, 2024. Who has the prettiest window display, the best idea or the most creative campaign: The customers and/or guests decide and they can vote for their favourites online. And there is also a nice incentive here too: A reader trip will be raffled off by the Aachener Zeitung among all of the voters.


Aachen is dressing up for the Tschio – who wants to take part?




03.04.2024 16:05

It is going to be about history and…

It is going to be about history and heroes: The “Horse & Symphony” concert at the CHIO Aachen 2024 is celebrating “100 years of equestrian show history” at the Aachen Soers. Also on board: The master of riding Ingrid Klimke and her daughter, Greta Busacker.

The “Horse & Symphony” concert is traditionally the breath-taking prelude of the biggest and most famous equestrian sport event in the world. These two spectacular evenings in the Deutsche Bank Stadium live from the fascinating interplay between the Aachen Symphony Orchestra and a unique horse show. And the latter will be paying homage to the 100-year long history of equestrian shows in Aachen this year. “The first riding and driving show was staged at the Aachen Soers in 1924,” explained Birgit Rosenberg, member of the board of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein (ALRV). “Which is why in terms of the music, sport and of course visual effects, the concert will be a historical event with many unforgettable moments this time.”


The pas de deux by the master of riding, Ingrid Klimke and her daughter, Greta Busacker, will no doubt be one of the highlights. A performance that will not only excel with top-class sport, it also promises to be highly emotional, because the two riders will naturally also be paying tribute to their father and grandfather, Dr. Reiner Klimke, who with eight victories in the Deutsche Bank Prize significantly co-shaped the history of the CHIO Aachen. He also won two gold medals at the first ever European Dressage Championships in 1967 – held in Aachen of course. “I am already really looking forward to riding into this special stadium with my Mum on both these evenings,” said Greta Busacker, whose biggest sporting victory to-date is claiming double gold at the die U21 European Championships in 2021. The performances also have goosebump potential for the three-time winner of the SAP-Cup, Ingrid Klimke. “I have the honour of taking part in this concert for the third time,” the 56-year-old stated. “But being allowed to ride in this fantastic atmosphere together with my daughter, is going to be very emotional for us both.”


However, the journey through the early days of equestrian shows in Aachen holds plenty of other highlights in store for the spectators. For example, among others the German four-in-hand drivers, Michael Freund and Daniel Würgler, will perform a magical show act in the sand of the Deutsche Bank Stadium, which will bring the driving sport from the Forests of Aachen to life again. A true crowd-puller is also awaited at the Aachen Soers. The Warendorf State Stud will impress the crowd with its popular draught horse quadrille. On June 28th and 29th, at 8.30 p.m. respectively, the first notes of the popular format will ring out under the direction of Christopher Ward, the General Music Director of the City of Aachen. Birgit Rosenberg assures: “It will certainly be worth a visit!”


Tickets for the “Horse & Symphony” concert are available online, from the hotline on +49-(0)241-917-1111 and from the office at the showgrounds.


13.03.2024 13:00

In line with the NRW/USA year 2023/2024, the…

In line with the NRW/USA year 2023/2024, the CHIO Aachen is looking forward to the United States as their official partner country in the summer. The motto: “A perfect match”.

When a real cowboy invites the visitors to a donut and pancakes together with CHIO’s mascot Karli, cheerleaders swing their hips full of energy and the legendary star-filled flag decorates the entrance, the nostalgic Route 66, western feeling, the charm of the southern states and plenty of pop music are not far behind: Yes, the USA is the partner country of this year’s CHIO Aachen – and that fits in perfectly with the joint history of over 340 years that unites the United States with North Rhine-Westphalia. The Government of North Rhine-Westphalia calls this current close relationship, which pays tribute to and celebrates the NRW/USA year 2023/2024, “a perfect match”. “So, the fact that the USA is the partner country of the CHIO Aachen this year harmonises very well,” commented Nathanael Liminski, Minister of the Federal, European and International Affairs and Media as well as Head of the State Chancellery of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. “The CHIO Aachen is one of the figureheads of international top sport. Staged in North Rhine-Westphalia, such an event offers the perfect platform to present the intimate friendship between the USA and NRW.” Pauline Kao, the US General Consul for North Rhine-Westphalia, who personally attended the announcement of the partner country on Wednesday morning, is also eagerly looking forward to Germany’s biggest sporting event: “This partnership is a dream come true for us. It really is a ‘perfect match’.“


And that is how this slogan – “A perfect match” – became the motto of the traditional Opening Ceremony of the CHIO Aachen on the evening of July 2nd, 2024. Together with this year’s partner country the organisers are promising a spectacular evening for the big show. Because the CHIO Aachen – that has long since not only stood for world-class equestrian sport, but also for world-class entertainment. For example, the traditional Opening Ceremony proves to be a 90-minute, breath-taking perfect entertainment show in the floodlit Main Stadium. Theme-wise it is traditionally closely based on the respective partner country. “And in this respect the unique flair of the USA offers a huge and diversified spectrum,” stated Birgit Rosenberg, board member of the ALRV, who in her capacity as Head of Sport at the CHIO Aachen is also responsible for the show programme. In terms of tradition, culture, music and of course also clichés, that as usual also play a part in the overall concept of the decorations and supporting programme, the land of unlimited opportunities means the organisers have a huge spectrum of possibilities to fall back on.


Framed by cheerleaders from Rhein Fire Düsseldorf, who lent the press conference the appropriate flair with their golden pompons, Uwe Brandt already revealed a few concrete ideas about the Opening Ceremony, which thanks to public TV sector will be broadcast live throughout Germany from 8.15 p.m.: “I am conjuring up a picture full of glamour, football and of course plenty of horses and music,” explained the Creative Director, who has been supporting the CHIO Aachen team regarding the choreography, dramaturgy and staging of the event since 2015 already, adding with a grin: “Of course there will also be a bit of pink.” In addition to a Super Bowl atmosphere, Quarter horses and a US American-style presentation by the NRW State Stud from Warendorf, the spectators can also look forward to a show that pays homage to “Barbie”. With their performance, the two social media stars, Hella Gabbert and Julia Steinbrecher, will be depicting the probably most famous doll in the world. Because she has – of course – American roots.


However the USA will not only dominate the Opening Ceremony in the summer, it will indeed have a great influence throughout the CHIO days. For example, the typical US American flair will be noticeable throughout the entire showgrounds and will also be present in the city centre too: On Monday, July 1st, the traditional reception of the partner country will take place on the marketplace in Aachen. Only the two “Horse & Symphony” concerts (June 28th and 29th) have a different theme this year. “In 2024 we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the show at the Aachen Soers,” explained Stefanie Peters, President of the ALRV. “And we are going to festively celebrate this anniversary in the scope of these two concerts.”


Tickets for the Opening Ceremony, the two “Horse & Symphony” concerts and all of the sport competitions are available online from the Ticket Shop, from the ALRV offices or via the hotline on +49-(0)241-917-1111.






CHIO Aachen 2024: Submit photos for “Silver Camera” now

05.03.2024 16:27

This prize places the focus on those people,…

This prize places the focus on those people, who are otherwise always found standing behind the camera: The renowned photographer’s prize, the “Silver Camera”, is presented during the World Equestrian Festival, CHIO Aachen 2024.

The prize for the best international equestrian sport photo of the year is conferred by the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V., organisers of the CHIO Aachen. The photographs illustrating equestrian sport motifs from all over the globe have to have been taken after May 24th, 2023. The entry deadline is May 24th, 2024.


In addition to receiving the “Silver Camera” trophy, the winner picks up 2,500 Euros in prize-money. Second place is endowed with 1,000 Euros, whilst the person, who comes third, can look forward to 500 Euros in prize-money.


The announcement of the media prize as well as all terms of participation and a link to the registration form can be found here.

CHIO Aachen Website


23.02.2024 16:35

Instagram projects or a website, video clip, multimedia…

Instagram projects or a website, video clip, multimedia story or online article: Digital equestrian sport stories are potential winners. If they are submitted to “The Silver Horse” online award.

“The Silver Horse” is the most traditional media prize in the equestrian sport sector. Originally conferred in the “classic” disciplines Print, Radio and TV, the prize is in the meantime conferred as an online award. All articles on the equestrian sport that are available online, can be submitted. These can be articles or comments from daily newspapers, blog entries, social media posts or video clips, but also even entire multimedia concepts.


Creator, Bloggers and onliners are allowed to take part, but also editorial offices, athletes, organisers, sponsors etc. Hence, the author, the responsible person, several authors or a group/editorial office can consequently win the award. The jury assesses the entries among others according to their creativity, quality, user involvement, target group affinity and relevance. The submitted entry must have either been published in German or English.


The three best entries receive a prize, the winner is distinguished with “The Silver Horse” and prize money to the value of 3,000 Euros. Second place is endowed with 2,000 Euros, third place with 1,000 Euros. Entries that have been published after May 24th, 2023 are eligible for submission.


All information, the terms of the award and the online application form are available here.

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