Aachen, what does the German Federation think?

The CSIO of Aachen is out from the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup 2014 circuit. This has been a very controversial decison. Sönke Lauterbach, Secretary General of the German Federation, answers to our questions below:

What is your opinion on the fact that not having Aachen in division one is a big damage for the entire sport?

It is obviously very sad for Germany, but also the Jumping sport in general, that Aachen can not be part of the series this year. We do not expect that Aachen will suffer or decrease in quality because it is still Aachen and the best riders still strive to compete and win there. But it is not a good signal for the nations cup series.

Was it possible to find another solution?

We have tried until the very last day to get FEI and Aachen continue their discussion in order to find a solution. But while Aachen was flexible with regards to the commercial requirements to a certain degree, the FEI made clear that for them there was no room to negotiate. The FEI policy was for Aachen to accept the requirements or not. (see below)

We read in the press release that Aachen did not fit the economical requirements. How can it be possible, being the German CSIO one of the most important show in the world?

The problem was not that Aachen was unable to pay any sort of license fee. It was the other way round. FEI/Furusiyya established a quite long list of commercial requirements and were only willing to pay a certain amount for this. This amount did not meet the requirements that Aachen has for sponsor partners requesting a comparable commercial value. For details you will need to speak to the Aachen OC.

Can we assume that the real problem was between the two sponsors, Rolex and Longines, that could not match together?

No, this was not related to Rolex and Longines because there is a transition period for events, that have Rolex sponsorships until 2015. The requirements by FEI/Furusiyya were relevant.

Why has not been found another german show for division 1?

We do understand Aachen's position and constraints and would not have had the intention to take the "O" away from them. Apart from this, the right for Aachen to host the "O" is based on a longer term contract with our NF. It is not renewed on an annual basis. So, even if we would have wanted to split with Aachen, it would not have been possible.

Barbara Leoni