The 57th Geneva International Horse Show from 7th to 10th December promises spectators a feast of great competitions and the presence of the best riders, drivers and… horses! And once again there will be new additions to the programme. Four different disciplines, a balanced programme, and all the favourites of the public and the riders alike, as well as competitions with high stakes are all in the programme of the Geneva International Horse Show (CHIG), from 7th to 10th December. Even though it is too early to confirm the presence of certain riders and drivers, the public will be sure to see some top ones performing in the world’s largest indoor arena. In show jumping, the German Philipp Weishaupt has just launched his Grand Slam bid by winning the Spruce Meadows “Masters” of Calgary. He will certainly not want to stop at that, when the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping represents such an incredible feat. “The rounds of the Grand Slam are the four greatest competitions in the world. Winning both the two top indoor and the two top outdoor competitions is something really special that every rider dreams of, and I’m going to be concentrating on doing exactly that!”, he announced in Calgary.
For the 13th time, Geneva will host the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, programmed this year for the Saturday evening. The American Kent Farrington, current Nº 1 in the world, won in 2015; Eric Lamaze won last year. The world rankings, on which the final is based, will only be available at the beginning of November, so it is too early to speculate.
But whoever qualifies among the ten top riders will be expecting fierce competition. The hope of seeing one or even two Swiss riders – Steve Guerdat and/or Martin Fuchs – in the line-up is still very much alive. But nothing is certain yet!
CHI Geneva always has the younger generation in mind, and this year’s edition will include a great innovation: the Youth Challenge, where champions and young Swiss hopefuls will come face to face on the Friday evening.
A multiple champion in the dressage The three dressage competitions, presented by Jiva Hill Stables, will be held on the Friday and Saturday. The return of this Olympic discipline to Geneva last year was well received by the public and the riders, even if some were rather unaccustomed to competing in such an imposing and pulsating arena as Palexpo. The Freestyle to Music will feature the eight riders who come out top at Geneva. Last year, Germany’s Isabell Werth won with Emilio. The triple gold medallist in the European Championships at Gothenburg has already confirmed she will be in Geneva.
Complete with natural obstacles:
The Indoor Cross-Country, presented by the Tribune de Genève, will kick off the Saturday evening. This competition, which is seldom seen indoors, will be held on a course that covers both the main and the training arenas, and will include those Geneva icons, the bank and the lake. Palexpo reverberated to the French national anthem in the first three years of the competition. The French, who were also Olympic team champions in Rio, have always excelled in this type of competition. The top riders will be there, including triple Olympic champion, Michael Jung from Germany.
Switzerland well represented in driving:
The only Swiss round of the FEI Driving World Cup will feature six or seven four-in-hands. Jérôme Voutaz, the local rider who continues to do well at international level with his team of Franches Montagnes, will be Palexpo’s favourite in December. Having won two of the three European Championships competitions in Gothenburg last August (marathon and cones), he will once more be showing off his team of pure Swiss-bred livestock. Australian Boyd Exell, steadfast winner in Geneva ever since he first took part, will have to look out for him!
In addition to the competitions in the main arena, the attractions arena will offer a variety of equestrian displays, and there will be educational workshops on the Thursday, children’s day. Swiss breeding will be honoured again, with the Swiss Breed Classic Super Finale featuring the best 3½ year-old Swiss-bred horses. Lastly, the event’s mascot, Dagz, will be around at various times during the four days and will be happy to sign autographs and pose for selfies with his fans, big and small!
Tickets went on sale on 12th September at www.starticket.ch
Full programme at www.chi-geneve.ch