vanished. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the equestrian year is being deprived of one of its most beautiful events. Despite all the efforts of the organizers, who wanted to reschedule their mythical competition in September, no viable solution was found. However, they promise that a virtual edition will be developed to allow everyone to discover the unique atmosphere that reigns in the Soers Park.
The Aachen CHIO cannot take place as planned this year. The organizers have decided to cancel the event due to the Covid-19 crisis. “People’s health is a top priority,” said Dutchman Frank Kemperman, director of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennvereins (ALRV) organizing committee. He added that on the basis of national and international developments as well as measures adopted by the German Federal Government, it had been decided to cancel the CHIO Aachen 2020. “It was a very moving and difficult decision for us,” said Michael Mronz, Managing Director of the Aachen Competition Limited Liability Company (ART). According to him, despite the support that the Aachen CHIO enjoys thanks to its strong partners and loyal spectators, the situation still presents an enormous challenge.
However, fans of the Aachen CHIO can look forward to a compensatory initiative. “We will organize a virtual CHIO Aachen 2020,” said Michael Mronz. At the very least, it will be possible to experience the legendary atmosphere of CHIO Aachen in digital form. The organizers will present more details about the project over the next few days.
This is the first time that the CHIO Aachen has had to be cancelled in peacetime. The history of the world’s largest equestrian event began in 1898. The Aachen Horse Racing Club first operated in the world of horse racing, before organizing smaller horse shows. International equestrian events have been held in Aachen since the 1920s. They had only been cancelled from 1940 to 1945, during the Second World War. Moreover, competitions had again been held at the Parc de la Soers as early as 1946, and international competitions as early as 1947. Every year, some 350,000 people from all over the world attend this peak of the outdoor season.
“People’s solidarity with our CHIO is immense in these difficult times,” reported Carl Meulenbergh, President of the ALRV. For example, many ticket holders have already explained that they have decided to waive the refund of their tickets. “We are sincerely grateful to them for this generous gesture,” he said, because “as a non-profit organization, the ALRV depends on this support”. Tickets already purchased can be converted into tickets for the 2021 edition of the CHIO, scheduled from June 25 to July 4. All information and other options are available on the CHIO website. The competition ticket office will contact all ticket holders. Finally, the CHIO offices remain closed to the public until further notice.