Aachen 2015: 13 gold medals

3 August - The FEI European Championships Aachen 2015 are going to be big. Very big: 30 nations, 475 athletes and more than 1,654 sport and show horses. These are just some of the figures that the organisers presented at a press conference at Aachen's Town Hall one week before the European Championships kick off.

Carl Meulenbergh, President of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e. V. (ALRV), organisers of the event, can't wait for the Championships to begin: "Everyone is extremely looking forward to it. I am convinced that the ALRV and the city will offer the visitors a magnificent Championships event." 13 gold medals will be awarded in the disciplines jumping, dressage, driving, vaulting and reining from August 11th-23rd. Two riders, for whom this dream could become reality, are the show-jumper Daniel Deußer and the dressage rider, Matthias Alexander Rath. They revealed which targets they have set themselves for Aachen. Deußer, who is currently number two in the world rankings, has set himself big goals in Aachen. Not without good reason: The last time a German team won in Aachen was in 2008, the European Championships are to change this. "Our aim is to win the gold medal here in our own country. However, I think many teams share the role of the favourites, for example the Dutch, Belgian and British teams. It is going to be exciting." And his personal form? "I was and still am in very good form. A further advantage is that my horse Cornet d’Amour simply feels at home in Aachen. So, I think my chances of a top placement are very good," was his optimistic appraisal.

Matthias Alexander Rath, who wants to celebrate a comeback in Aachen with Totilas, has the same hopes. In the big stadium in front of the huge crowd. "The German team is the defending titleholder, what's more in his own country. So, of course, one's own expectations are high." Team gold doesn't have to be just a dream – and individual gold? "Here, we will have to first of all keep our eyes on Charlotte Dujardin, she is the best rider in the world at the moment. Kristina Sprehe and Desperados are also in world-class form," stated Rath.

"For many nations, the European Championships are a further qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio," explained Frank Kemperman, Chairman of the ALRV, which further enhances the sporting significance of the event.

It is definitely going to be exciting. In the city centre too, where, parallel to the FEI European Championships, a diversified supporting programme including a wine festival, music, talks, entertainment, a big wheel, medal award ceremonies and public viewing will take place. "The whole of Aachen will celebrate the European Championships on the stages on Münsterplatz, the market square and Katschhof. The market stage builds a direct bridge to the Soers," the Lord Mayor, Marcel Philipp, announced.

Tickets are still left for all days and disciplines, but they are running short for some of the events. "Only a few tickets remain for the Opening Ceremony and for the final days of the jumping and dressage," stated Frank Kemperman. The media interest in the FEI European Championships Aachen 2015 is unabated. Michael Mronz, General Manager of the Aachener Reitturnier GmbH, announced that over 800 journalists will be on-site – incidentally from all over the world, not just from Europe. 30 hours of sport will be broadcast on ARD, WDR and ZDF, most of which will be live.

The digital offer has also been further expanded. Whether in the form of a virtual camera flight, multimedia graphics or short videos on the social media channels – the European Championships are thus also going to be a virtual experience. The centrepiece is the Aachen2015 app, which is available as a free download from the stores. Tickets can be ordered here or from the ticket hotline (+49(0)-241-917-1111).
source: www.aachen2015.de