Great sport meets great emotions

Everyone is eagerly looking forward to it: There is going to be worldclass sport at the CHIO Aachen 2023 again from June 23rd - July 2nd, in that extra special atmosphere that can only be experienced in Aachen.

The CHIO Aachen is a unique event – also due to or precisely because of its very special atmosphere. The mood on the stands is world-class. Fair. Full of energy and with a goosebump guarantee. Anyone who has visited once, is destined to come back again. Hence, year after year more than 350,000 spectators make the pilgrimage to the legendary Aachen Soers over the ten days of the show. They all look forward to being there, to that very special excitement, the prickling atmosphere that is only found in Aachen. Because when the stadiums fill up and the best horse and rider combinations in the world enter this epical equestrian sport arena, then sporting history is guaranteed to be written again. The best horses, the best riders, the best sport in the most spectacular atmosphere – this is the claim the CHIO Aachen promises in no less than five disciplines. Competing in Aachen, is simultaneously a fascination and a challenge. “Riding with goosebumps” is how the athletes describe what it is like when they dive into this sensation and experience memorable moments. Athletes don’t merely win classes here – they become legends of their sport. Winning Aachen once, finally being able to read one’s own name on the legendary winners’ board at the entrance of the Main Stadium – that is their joint dream.


To achieve this aim they have to assert themselves in the probably most famous classes worldwide: In the Deutsche Bank Prize for example, the Grand Prix Freestyle in front of 6,300 elated dressage fans on the Sunday morning. “I always thought it would only ever be Isabell’s name that decorated this wall,” joked the Danish rider, Cathrine Dufour, after her sensational triumph last year. Not without good reason, because Isabell Werth has indeed eternalised her name on the board no less than 14 times – that is an absolute record! The German dressage rider won this highlight for the first time 31 years ago – and the most successful rider of all time is one of the absolute top favourites this year too. Empirically, she also comes up against strong competition from her fellow countrymen: Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, the double Olympic gold medallist, would also like to finally read her name on the winners’ board.

In the jumping, the Mercedes-Benz Nations’ Cup, the international match of the show-jumpers, always guarantees exciting sport and huge emotions. When the floodlights are illuminated on Thursday evening, 40,000 fans pour into the Main Stadium and the sun slowly goes down behind the characteristic arch of the NetAachen Grand Stand, for many people it is simply time for the most thrilling and enjoyable hours of the year. The atmosphere in the spacious arena is simply breath-taking, alternating in minute intervals between being as silent as a mouse, loud gasps and thunderous applause. And if, as was the case last year, the German national anthem is played in honour of the winner, the enthusiasm of the crowd knows no limits. The team of the national coach, Otto Becker, is thus entering the race this time as the title defender. But it is a fiercely competitive battle making one’s way onto that winners’ board. In this European Championships year, the Chef d’Equipes will be selecting their teams for the championships in Aachen, so as usual the field of competitors at the Soers will be first-class. This also applies for the Turkish Airlines-Prize of Europe, the first highlight in the legendary Main Stadium, which is staged on Wednesday evening, also under floodlights. Getting the show week off to a good start is extremely important, because the prestigious jumping class is traditionally the first qualifier for the big finale of the show-jumpers, the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon.


Whilst the vaulters traditionally battle it out in the Albert-Vahle-Arena on the first weekend of the show to find out who is the best of the best in the Prize of Sparkasse, the highlight of the SAP-Cup always follows in the morning of the second Saturday, namely the cross-country competition. Before in the afternoon the best four-in-hand drivers in the world set off on their Marathon course in the Prize of schwartz Group. Nobody knows who has won the eventing competition until the very last horses and riders have crossed the finish line, so it is excitement pure right till the very end.

But Aachen is also and above all a public festival, a folk festival, with a spectacular supporting programme, with shows and concerts and a diversified stage programme. The Opening Ceremony is traditionally a thrilling highlight. The 90-minute long, breath-taking top show before the top sport always proves to be a perfect entertainment show in the floodlit Main Stadium in front of 40,000 spectators. In terms of the contents, it is traditionally always closely themed on the partner country. The motto of the evening, “All you need is love”, based on the legendary Beatles hymn, reveals that it is Great Britain this time. The unique charm of the amiable islanders from across the English Channel will not only dominate the evening of June 27th, but indeed all of the CHIO Aachen days. For example, the partner country sets the tone for the two “Horse & Symphony” concerts on June 23rd and 24th. Beyond this, the typical, British flair will be omnipresent all over the showgrounds as well as in the city itself: The traditional reception in the market square of Aachen will take place on Monday, June 26th. One day before that, the visitors will be streaming into the showgrounds on the first Sunday of the CHIO Aachen week, when Soers Sunday entices the guests with many attractions for the whole family – as if that’s not enough, admission is free too. So, one thing is certain: CHIO Aachen not only means world-class sport, it also means: Meeting friends, going for a stroll, seeing and being seen, shopping, enjoying and celebrating a little. All of this is possible from June 23rd to July 2nd at the CHIO Aachen 2023.