#neuland Congress offers a star-studded exchange

The name says it all – new paths are tread and innovative approaches discussed at the #neuland Congress to lay the foundation for an efficient and equally ecological and economic sustainable future. During the CHIO Aachen two days full of lively discussions amid a fantastic networking atmosphere took place.

“The horse is a top athlete and that is why it is our responsibility to make sure its well-being takes top priority,” Birgit Rosenberg stated at the start of the discussion panel of the CHIO Aachen Scientist Circle. The round table on the scientific monitoring of the well-being of the horse was one of the many exciting podium discussions at the #neuland Congress, which was staged during the CHIO Aachen. At the event location, DAS LIEBIG, the organisers Rhein Ruhr City GmbH, the Aachen Technology Entrepreneurship Conference (ATEC) of the RWTH Aachen and the CHIO Aachen CAMPUS offered a top-level exchange.


As a Board Member of the ALRV, it is particularly important for Birgit Rosenberg that the horses enjoy top conditions at the CHIO Aachen. “Our project aims make it transparent to the public that the horses feel at home at our show.” Not only Rosenberg knows that science plays a decisive role here, but Sönke Lauterbach is also aware of this fact. The General Secretary of the German Equestrian Federation (FN) is convinced that scientific studies can prove much more readily and above all objectively the needs horses have and measure their well-being. “And if there are well-founded results, a much higher credibility is achieved,” Lauterbach explained.


At this year’s CHIO Aachen, the stables of eight horses were equipped with an AI-supported camera system, which assessed the horses’ behaviour and movements. “The networking with other data sources will be extended in future, which will allow us to gain even more precise cognitions,” said Dr. Arne Rasmus Dräger looking ahead to the future. His company, ACARiS GmbH, sees artificial intelligence as a significant opportunity: “The great advantage is that using AI we can make very individual statements based on a wide range of data.”


Prof. Dr. Dirk Winter, Professor for Equestrian Management at the Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Applied Science is the co-initiator of the CHIO Aachen Scientist Circle. The initial findings of the pilot project in 2023 leave him optimistic. “Assessment of the data indicates that the show in Aachen doesn’t cause the horses any particular stress,” he summed up. However, according to him and Birgit Rosenberg it is imperative to have these findings corroborated more thoroughly in future. More horses are to take part in the surveys and: “We are stood at the start of the project, which has no finish date. More and more factors will be introduced so that the well-being of the horses can be safeguarded as comprehensively as possible.”


In the eyes of Sönke Lauterbach the CHIO Aachen has always taken on the role of a “driving force”. “It is remarkable how much the sport has further developed thanks to the CHIO Aachen. This applies for both the technicalities of the sport and the media attention that the show attracts. And now the scientific aspect is additionally being addressed.” Together the parties involved intend to work on continually improving the conditions for the horses.


Discussion panels on innovations in the sport and industry


Interesting discussions were held on two platforms, the Conference Stage and the Interactive Stage, on both days. The agenda included themes that couldn’t be more topical. In which direction is the sport headed? What form will the sustainable financing of clubs, associations and sports events or the distribution take on in the future? Which role will artificial intelligence play? Will it be an innovation driver or a job killer? Beyond this, start-ups had the opportunity to present innovative ideas in a dynamic competition in the scope of a pitch battle. The focus lay above all on a knowledge exchange, stimulating discussions and establishing new contacts.


The list of speakers and guests was long and star-studded: Among others, the IOC President, Dr. Thomas Bach; RWE CEO, Dr. Markus Krebber; SAP Germany’s CEO, Sven Mulder; STAWAG Board Member, Dr. Christian Becker; Sports Manager, Oliver Bierhoff; Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s Chairman, Fernando Carro and the three IOC Members Ivo Ferriani, Petra Sörling, Britta Heidemann all took part in the Congress.

The photo shows Bayer 04 Leverkusen's CEO Fernando Carro on stage at the #neuland congress. Photo: Andreas Steindl

The photo shows Bayer 04 Leverkusen's CEO Fernando Carro on stage at the #neuland congress. Photo: Andreas Steindl