|“I am delighted to be back again at last. Aachen without the CHIO is simply not the same.” This visitor’s statement echoed the thoughts of most of the crowd. The atmosphere in the Main Stadium was fantastic, even if the spectators were not quite as plentiful as in the previous years due to the pandemic.
It was nevertheless loud and this special crowd had plenty of opportunity to applaud ecstatically. Around 250 horses and 750 participants, accompanied by a fantastic live band, turned the official prelude to the World Equestrian Festival into an exceptional evening in the Main Stadium.
“160 years of German/Japanese friendship” was the motto of this floodlit evening event. And that wasn’t just noticeable on the stands, but also on the “holy grass”. With its traditional mounted “Yabusame” archers and a typically Japanese dance performance to peppy pop music, the partner country Japan demonstrated how much ancient traditions are fusing with the lifestyle of the new era. The “Taiko Drummer” groups brought a thunderous sound to the Soers and hundreds of extras conjured up Japanese flair in the Main Stadium in the form of a typical cherry blossom festival.
The programme was rounded off by plenty of horse and even more equine tradition. The German state studs demonstrated the horse as a cultural asset in its entire spectrum: with loose herd, historical carriages, sport horses and the highlight, a big quadrille by the state studs comprising of 48 stallions.
Not only the participating nations of the CHIO Aachen 2021 were greeted by a sea of pink-coloured waving flags, but also the reigning Olympic gold medallists, including the victorious dressage team comprising of Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, Isabell Werth and Dorothee Schneider, the Olympic gold medallist in show jumping, Ben Maher, and the first ever lady to win individual gold in eventing, Julia Krajewski. Together with the Japanese show-jumper Daisuke Fukushima, the latter also declared the CHIO Aachen to be officially open. An impressive water show that conjured up wonderfully illuminated fountains in the sky over the Soers brought the event to a spectacular close and heightened the joyful anticipation for the coming days at the CHIO Aachen 2021. Tickets are still available from the hotline (+49-241-917-1111), from the box offices and from the online shop for all days.