Nostalgic pageant: “Horse & Symphony” impresses with a journey through 100 years of equestrian show history

Take the fantastic live music of the Aachen Symphony Orchestra, graceful dancers, fast-paced carriages, a touch of nostalgic and of course plenty of horses. The result on Friday and Saturday evening was a staging of the classic “Horse & Symphony” concert that took the crowd in the Deutsche Bank Stadium off on a journey through time across the 100 years of equestrian show history at the Aachen Soers.

“How it all began” – the first show performance of the popular format that kicks off Germany’s largest sporting event on the Friday and Saturday evening couldn’t have been more appropriate. The Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein (ALVR) is celebrating 100 years of equestrian show history at the Aachen Soers this year. And so, the State Stud of North Rhine-Westphalia brought back memories of the early 1920s at the beginning of the show with its draught horse quadrille. With their powerful performance, the crowd’s favourite heavy weights literally made the earth quake in the Deutsche Bank Stadium and proved to be the perfect prelude of the nostalgic journey through the last century.


Several of the most popular pieces of classic music conducted by the General Music Director, Christopher Ward, followed: From the legendary “Tritsch Tratsch Polka” by Johann Strauss, to popular melodies from “Indiana Jones” and “Dances with Wolves”, through to pop hits by ABBA, Elton John and Robbie Williams. They were accompanied by action-packed performances. The Quadrille Team Emsland paid tribute to the puissance record set by Willibert Mehlkopf in 1985, speedy thoroughbreds from the Almenräder Racing Stables galloped round the arena, the Britta Rasche-Merkt Show Team impressed the audience with a spectacular fire show, whilst Kenzie Dysli and Laury Tisseur whisked the spectators off to beautiful Andalusia. With their impressive liberty dressage of the Pura Raza Española, which was accompanied by the emotional live performance of the soprano artist, Inga Wea, the two horse trainers conjured up memories of the first partner country of the CHIO Aachen in the year 2001: Spain! Meanwhile a popular tradition, this year’s partner country, the USA, definitely couldn’t be missing either. The land of unlimited opportunities was represented by Sandra Rohde’s Western Show Team, and they transformed the arena into the Wild West. And at the latest, when no less than four driving sport legends – Michael Freund and Rainer Duen from Germany; the Swiss driver, Daniel Würgler; and the driver from Sweden, Frederik Persson – and their magnificent teams of horses looked back on those days in the past when the driving competitions were still battled out in the Forest of Aachen, the spectators were on their feet. There was also a standing ovation for the Master of Riding, Ingrid Klimke and her daughter, Greta Busacker. Their graceful pas de deux was not only reminiscent of the first European Dressage Championships in Aachen, but also of their father and grandfather, Dr. Reiner Klimke, who having won two gold medals was the acclaimed hero of the Championships in the year 1967. Goosebumps galore! And the latter were also guaranteed as the Youth Choir of the Theatre of Aachen sang the famous song “hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen under the direction of Jori Klomp and the crowd turned the Deutsche Bank Stadium into a sea of lights with their smartphones. That was magical!

Kenzie Dysli at Horse & Symphony 2024

Kenzie Dysli at Horse & Symphony 2024