"A CHIO Aachen we all know and love."

An interview with the Show Director, Frank Kemperman, about the CHIO Aachen 2021

Excitement, joyful anticipation and lots of normality: In three more weeks it will start at the Soers in Aachen.

Question: The famous white tents have already been erected at the Soers, how are the preparations going?
Frank Kemperman: Great. Everyone is full of anticipation for the CHIO Aachen we all know and love. Horses at the Soers at last again, the World Equestrian Festival at last again. It was sorely missed last year. That huge anticipation, that excitement just before the event kicks off, our visitors also sense it, we know that from many conversations and stories recounted. We are on schedule regarding the assembly work. The tents have been erected, work is now being carried out on the interior design.


Question: It kicks off in three weeks’ time, what awaits the visitors?
Kemperman: Everything that distinguishes the CHIO Aachen. That very special atmosphere at the grounds, the tradition, 123 years of history that one senses in every corner, simply a CHIO Aachen that our guests and athletes know and cherish – with as much normality as possible. Of course with all five CHIO disciplines, with the best riders and horses and all the highlights such as the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup, Rolex Grand Prix, the SAP Cup in eventing, the Deutsche Bank Prize and a totally new feature: The Turkish Airlines – Prize of Europe on Wednesday evening, held for the first time under floodlights, which I am personally really looking forward to.


Question: What do you mean by the greatest possible normality?
Kemperman: That we are organising a CHIO Aachen, which will impress, which will bring the people plenty of joy – but that we are at the same ensuring the greatest possible safety in close consultation with the authorities. Factors that have long since become part of the everyday routine for people, will also be applied here, such as COVID proof, social distancing and wearing masks until one has reached one’s seat. Tickets for the standing area will not be sold in order to avoid large gatherings of people, the seats on the stands will be allocated in chess-format style – two seats will be occupied, two will be left free. The number of spectators will also be limited for the free events such as Soers Sunday or the Prize of the schwartz GmbH, the Marathon of the four-in-hand drivers. It is important that everyone feels safe. There are also many smaller measures, for instance that we are exclusively providing the starter lists in digital format, that is not only sustainable because it saves several thousands of sheets of paper, it also avoids unnecessary contacts. These are some of the measures, which I am convinced will not cause any major inconvenience, but which greatly contribute towards added safety – the greatest possible normality so-to-say.


Question: The new Corona regulation also foresees simplified personalisation rules.
Kemperman: Of course, this greatly simplifies purchasing tickets for our visitors. Up until now the data for each visitor had to be provided, now the data of the person purchasing the tickets suffices. That makes it much easier to order tickets from our online ticket shop.


Question: What about the supporting programme?
Kemperman: The big shows have long since become an integral part of the CHIO. Such as the Opening Ceremony on the Tuesday evening, September 14th. This will be strongly dominated by our partner country Japan and the German state studs. From what I have seen so far in the rehearsals – it is going to be fantastic. The programme starts on Friday and Saturday evening, September 10th and 11th, with the “Horse & Symphony” concert in the Deutsche Bank Stadium. This unique concert, a combination between a horse show and live music by the Aachen Symphony Orchestra, really is exceptional and atmospheric. The free admission event, Soers Sunday on September 12th, begins as usual with an Ecumenical Service, followed by a show programme on the show jumping warm-up area starting at midday.


Question: What form will the tent city, the CHIO Aachen Village, take on this year?
Kemperman: Strolling around and shopping is simply part of the CHIO visit, the same also applies for a huge catering offer. It is an elementary part of the folk festival atmosphere here at the grounds. Of course, we are taking the current situation into account and have accordingly planned the layout generously and spaciously. For instance, there is the “Soers Beer Garden” with a vast range of culinary offers – from chips to pasta, through to sushi. And there is also a huge selection regarding the shopping offers too – clothes and everything for the horse, lifestyle products, through to a fully-electric Mercedes.


Question: Do you have a special tip for the show visit?
Kemperman: Download the free CHIO Aachen app at home already. It will not only allow everyone to find their way around the grounds easily, it also contains all of the starter and result lists – including a live scoring, so one always knows the current status of the class. Features like the spectator judging or the live tracking of the eventers are also integrated into the app, there’s plenty to discover. Incidentally, it also works superbly at home when one is sitting in front of the TV.


Question: And what are you looking forward to most?
Kemperman: When our visitors go home in the evening cheerful and with a smile on their faces saying: That was a great day.


The free CHIO Aachen app in the Play Store
The free CHIO Aachen app at Apple

Frank Kemperman, Show Director and Chairman of the Board of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. Photo: Andreas Steindl

Frank Kemperman, Show Director and Chairman of the Board of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. Photo: Andreas Steindl

The typical white tents are already in place, now it's time for the interior work. (Photo: CHIO Aachen)

The typical white tents are already in place, now it's time for the interior work. (Photo: CHIO Aachen)