Wednesday, 9. August 2023

Beaming faces at the “Family Day”

The second “Family Day” of the CHIO Aachen CAMPUS was a total success. Young, upcoming riders demonstrated their skills in show jumping classes up to level A** and numerous attractions offered plenty of fun for the entire family. The rainy weather didn’t dampen the spirits at all.

It was colourful, it was cheerful and sporty too: Just a few weeks after the World Equestrian Festival, the focus of the “Family Day” at the traditional CHIO Aachen grounds lay on the youngest of the equestrian sport talents. And the concept proved extremely successful: The young athletes poured into the Aachen Soers. In the jumping arena the highlight was the qualifier for the U15 riders in the nationwide Horst-Gebers Pony Tour. Alongside the winner, Josefine Thabe and Fairlight van de Vlierbeek (Landwirtschaftlicher Reiterverein Kalthof e.V.), the two runners-up in this competition secured themselves a ticket for the Final, which is being staged in September during the German Amateur Championships in Münster-Handorf.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t play along as one would have expected for a day in August, however the organisers of the Family Day had a plan B in store. The supporting programme was relocated into the Albert-Vahle Arena at short notice, so all of the guests stayed dry. In the Hobby Horsing classes and lead-rein competitions the spotlight was placed on the youngest members of the sport and, dressed in bright costumes, the aspiring athletes gave their very best. There were also plenty of further attractions beyond the sporting activities: In addition to a bouncy castle and face painting, the children could also take part in a range of interesting activities, such as handcrafting a hobby horse. Furthermore, unusual selfie spots invited the guests to take some unforgettable snapshots. And, of course, there was the opportunity to actually ride a pony. The spectators were impressed by the performance of the participants of the CHIO Aachen Kids Camps and of course by the presence of the CHIO Aachen mascot, Karli, who entertained everyone by hugging, dancing and posing for selfies with the spectators.

“We are delighted that the combination between show jumping competitions, hobby horsing and a programme tailor-made for children was so popular,” summed up Stefan Knopp, Director of the CHIO Aachen CAMPUS. “Our aim is to promote young talents and open our grounds up to the youngest equestrian athletes, the Family Day presents a wonderful opportunity for this purpose.”

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