Soers Sunday: Full house, fantastic programme

Who needs a holiday in faraway countries, when “Soers Sunday”, part of the supporting programme of the CHIO Aachen 2017 (July 14th-23rd), attracts one to the showgrounds at the Soers on the first weekend of the summer vacations? That is obviously what the around 30,000 visitors, who poured into the traditional grounds on Krefelder Straße and strolled around the CHIO Village, thought. The great thing about it: The weather also played along – a bit of sun, a few clouds, pleasant temperatures – and most important of all: no rain.

The “Open Day”, which the CHIO Aachen organiser, the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. (ALRV) invited all interested parties to attend free of charge once again in 2017, was already launched in 1998. It was actually planned as a one-off event, but the premiere went down so well with the visitors that it became a fixed item on the agenda of the World Equestrian Festival. It hasn’t lost any of its charm ever since, a fact that was certainly corroborated by this Sunday’s event. Shopping enjoyment and culinary delights in the CHIO Aachen Village that comprises of over 210 international exhibitors and numerous catering companies on the one hand; a colourful programme in many corners of the showgrounds on the other – the perfect Sunday outing for the entire family. “It is fantastic to see how much the people from Aachen enjoy Soers Sunday,” commented the Show Director, Frank Kemperman.

The event kicked off at 11.30 a.m. with a festive open-air ecumenical service in the Deutsche Bank Stadium. The official opening of “Soers Sunday” took place at 1 p.m. on the jumping warm-up area – the starting signal for a diversified and extravagant programme: Anyone, who had secured themselves one of the coveted places at the edge of the grass arena, was able to count himself lucky, because there was plenty to see: German riding ponies, tölting Icelandic horses and Friesians, a show with horses and falcons, a mini-trotting horse race, a fast-paced jumping quadrille, exciting insights into the training of driving horses and dog agility with the European Champion, Christian Kuko. Particularly the younger guests were able to look forward to further highlights including pony riding, children’s face painting, the games and campaign trailer of the Rhenish rural youth alongside the Driving Stadium as well as a visit from the CHIO Aachen mascot Karli. What’s more, this year Karli was joined by the equally fluffy and cult mouse from the “Sendung mit der Maus“ (Programme with the mouse) – an experience for both young and old alike.

Furthermore, in the scope of the charity cooperation “Moments of Luck”, four therapy centres from the region presented themselves to the audience with a programme they had put together themselves, whilst donation collectors passed through the entire showgrounds collecting donations for this campaign.

The “Concours International d’Attelage de Tradition (CIAT)” also proved to be a crowd-puller, which was organised by the ALRV in cooperation with the German Traditional Driving Association e.V. (DTV). The drivers already presented themselves on their magnificent historic carriages in stylish costumes yesterday on the market square in Aachen. Today, the second part followed. After a 15 kilometre optimum timed road drive through the Soers and Laurensberg, the visitors were able to experience the combined obedience and cone driving competition live in the Driving Stadium.

Soers Sunday Photo: CHIO Aachen / Andreas Steindl

Soers Sunday Photo: CHIO Aachen / Andreas Steindl