After more than 3 years of planning, it is finally time. The arenas and stables are ready, the first of hundreds of volunteers have arrived and today, the horses started to arrive. In just a few days we are ready for the first riders to enter the arena for the ECCO FEI World Championships – Herning 2022.
This afternoon, the press was invited to the Welcome Press Conference. Attending from the Organisers were Jens Trabjerg CEO Sports and Casper Cassøe CEO Operations to give a status on the preparations ahead of Herning2022.
Footing tested by rain
“The operations team have been working for some time now and things are going well. Everything is on schedule and right now we are just working on tying up the last of the loose ends”, Casper Cassøe begins and continues:
“Almost 12,000 tons of sand have been laid out in the arenas and they are now all finished and ready for the horses. And we have even had some heavy rain to test the footing and the drainage layer, and everything is working well.”
Later today, Professor Lars Roepstorff will arrive to run the final tests of the footing, and Casper Cassøe is feeling confident that all arenas are in top shape and ready for the competitions to begin.
Preparing for 3 years
It been a long journey for the Organiser’s team. Jens Trabjerg explains that it all began back in 2019.
“We spend 6 months putting our bid together, and we ended up filing our bid along with 21 other Organisers. The original bid was for 3 disciplines – jumping, dressage and para-dressage – and we then went on to be among the final 8 bidders”.
A quick decision was made to add Vaulting to the bid for the event, and then the final race was on as the Herning2022 bid was in the running with bids from Italy and Saudi Arabia.
“The other Organisers made some really impressive bids, but finally in November 2019 we got the message that ours had been the winning bid”, Jens Trabjerg recalls.
Experience and know-how
Both Jens Trabjerg and Casper Cassøe believes that their vast experience with other big equestrian events such as FEI World Cups and the FEI European Championships in 2013 played a big part in their bid being chosen as the winner.
Here in Herning we have some great, well-proven facilities and both the city of Herning as well as Casper and I have the routine and experience required for something like this, Jens Trabjerg says.
“We were also able to promise a financial solid event, with a realistic budget”, Casper Cassøe adds.
The first horses have arrived
At 6.00 this morning, the first horses arrived. Casper Cassøe explains that all riders have been assigned a specific arrival time slot to prevent the many cars and trucks queuing up.
“Every horse must pass a meticulous health check before being allowed into the stables, and as we are very attentive to the welfare of the horses, we wish to make sure that they do not spend longer time in transport than necessary”, Casper Cassøe explains.
Today, 2 August, 96 horse trucks will arrive by a carefully worked-out plan. In total, the organisers are expecting a little less than 1,200 horses.
Hopes for a great championship
When asked about what they wish Herning2022 to be remembered for, both Jens Trabjerg and Casper Cassøe have a clear answer:
“We hope that the event will have lived up to the high expectations that our guests and all the athletes have and that Herning2022 will be remembered as a championship with great sport and great experiences for everyone”.
Herning2022 Press conference