Stage set for a fantastic week of sport

FEI / Louise Parkes
JP IMG 0843 Isabelle Werth vetcheck

The horses, riders, back-up teams and supporters have been descending on the "Het Kralingse bos”, the lovely forested public park located in the village of Kralingse on the outskirts of Rotterdam in The Netherlands, in preparation for the opening of the Longines FEI European Championships 2019 for Jumping, Dressage and Para-Dressage.

The competition action kicks off tomorrow (Monday 19 August), but the high jinks already started today with some of the world’s greatest Dressage horses hot-to-trot and full of beans during the first veterinary inspection in which all were deemed fit to compete.

The No. 1 horse-and-rider combination of German legend Isabell Werth and her brilliant mare Bella Rose put on a show in front of the Ground Jury when Bella couldn’t contain her excitement about what’s going to happen over the coming days. And they are not the only ones anticipating a great week of sport.

The Rotterdam showground has undergone a major transformation with an expanded grandstand around the main arena. A short walk through the woods takes visitors to the nearby Para Dressage ring where the veterinary inspection took place this morning, and there is an extensive trade-stand area further along the forest pathway.

The Dressage team medals will be decided in the Grand Prix in which the first tranche of riders will compete tomorrow before the Opening Ceremony takes place later in the day. On Tuesday the Grand Prix will conclude and the team medals will be awarded. The Grand Prix Special will take place on Thursday, and then Saturday’s Grand Prix Freestyle will bring this Championship to a close.

Beginning on Wednesday there will be five full days of Para Dressage action, highlighted by the team medals presentation on Friday and the Freestyle finales on Sunday.

The Jumping team medals will also be awarded on Friday after three consecutive days of thrilling competition, and on Sunday a new Jumping champion will be crowned at the end of the two-round individual showdown.

It’s going to be great, so don’t miss a hoofbeat….

photo credits: Jessica Pijlman

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