Berlin, 14 December 2014 – Today, on 14 December 2014, after an intense four days of fascinating events, the 23rd HIPPOLOGICA came to an end. The prospect of exciting tournaments, shows, training courses and a wealth of shopping opportunities attracted around 22,000 visitors to the display halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. As a result, attendance at the event was slightly higher than last year. From 11 to 14 December 185 visitors from six countries presented their latest products and services for riding and keeping horses.
According to Kerstin Ebel, the project manager at Messe Berlin, "This year’s HIPPOLOGICA was a great success. Both the attendance figures and outstanding response from exhibitors and riding enthusiasts are proof that we were right to focus on sport and training. Thus the introduction of eventing at HIPPOLOGICA in particular was a genuine highlight for equestrian enthusiasts. Furthermore, the decision to include the topic of careers and young people in the supporting programme was very well received."
Equestrianism: André Thieme wins the Grand Prix of Berlin
This year André Thieme, triple Derby winner and two-times winner of the HIPPOLOGICA Grand Prix, triumphed yet again at Berlin’s largest indoor riding tournament. At the newly established Grand Prix of Berlin he won the challenging two-star category show jumping event on his horse Conthendrix. Furthermore, riding Ramona de Flobecq, Thieme completed a zero-fault round in 50.14 seconds to secure the Deutsche Kreditbank AG prize in the one-star jumping event.
André Thieme: "There were lots of people. This time the hall was full to capacity. I have been riding tournaments all through the year and this had a first-class quality to it. The obstacles in the hall are very close to each other. The horses learn a lot here."
Representing the Olympiastadion Berlin riding club, Heike Bosse won the HIPPOLOGICA Masters dressage event on her horse Wera la Sol. This year the Eichkamp/Lübars team won the final of the HIPPOLOGICA Team Cup. Tina Twelkmeyer from the Deutschlandhalle Berlin riding club won the HIPPOLOGICA Vaulting Cup on her horse Quantano. In 2014 a total of 20 equestrian events were held on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds.
According to Peter Fröhlich, the managing director of Landesverband Pferdesport Berlin-Brandenburg e.V., the eventing at the show with Olympic winner Frank Ostholt was very impressive. “It is rare to be able to watch horses jumping outdoor obstacles at an indoor event. It was an excellent idea to include it in the sporting events of the supporting programme.“ Furthermore, Fröhlich was delighted with the progress that sports events for the disabled have made. “With the introduction of a championship for young people and the increase in riders it means that handicap riding has become a major event at this equestrian exhibition.“
Equine health and treatment methods
The 68 lectures on specialist subjects at the HIPPOFORUM were very well attended. Representing ProSaani, Martin Grell demonstrated new diagnostic methods for monitoring a horse’s heartbeat as well as ‘Nickbutler’, a device for improving the training of gaits. Using the Bowen technique Carola Missal, a horse therapist, showed a method for massaging connective tissue. This can be employed when a horse suffers from digestive problems or psychosomatic disorders. Horst Becker gave audiences in the HIPPOFORUM valuable tips on how to deal with problems experienced when seated in the saddle.
At the 168 teaching demonstrations which focused on health, training and riding skills American Miniature Horses were on show for the first time. These animals can also be employed to treat arthritis, traumatised children and coma patients. Taking place in the riding ring, Deutsche Kuratorium für Therapeutisches Reiten demonstrated a three-dimensional vibration therapy and showed how a horse’s gait is transmitted to the rider and his back movements.
The focus of the teaching demonstrations was on harmony, respect, trust and achieving the right degree of communication between rider and horse. Horse and rider fitness was also a key topic. Thus, for instance, visitors greatly enjoyed the warming up and stretching exercises, both with the horses and while they were being ridden. New fitness equipment for horses was also on show, including a treadmill for stress-free exercising of horses’ joints.
Show events and high-class entertainment
Once again, this year’s highlights were the 30 show events in the riding ring. Baroque, Spanish, classic Hungarian and western style riding demonstrations as well as a stunt show including knife throwing made sure that the visitors to the halls were entertained with all kinds of riding skills. The mounted police of Germany’s Bundespolizei were also a major attraction and demonstrated their practical skills to the crowd in impressive fashion. “The response was fantastic“, said Thomas Kriwens, head of the mounted police division. “We were able to show people that even today it still makes sense to use horses for police work.“
A wealth of shopping opportunities and a wide range of activities rounded off this year’s HIPPOLOGICA. The range of exhibitors’ products included horse feed, stable supplies, care products and riding outfits. For the children visiting the fair the activities were the main thing. Thus, they were able to wield a hammer to make horseshoes or passed the time with amateur crafts or horse riding. After successfully taking a test a number of children were also keen to receive their ‘donkey riding licence’.
Comments on HIPPOLOGICA 2014
Mirjam Deponte, project manager of pro agro - Verband zur Förderung des ländlichen Raumes in der Region Brandenburg-Berlin e.V.: "We are regular participants and have been here with a combined display for twelve years now. This year there was a particular focus on Brandenburg, so that we attended with nine branches. For us HIPPOLOGICA is all about maintaining customer relations. The visitors here are very pleasant. They all go horse riding. What I particularly like is the combination of show events and exhibition, as well as the fact that one can be right next to the riding ring, in direct contact with the crowds and have all the information immediately available."
Corinna Ertl, Freestyle Horse Agility: "Five years ago I already hoped to be able to present my concept here in Germany’s northeast, and now I am here for the first time. The audiences were very enthusiastic and so am I. The fair is fantastic. I was able to present my concept whereby humans train dogs and horses without bridles and leads, by employing only gestures and body movements. The point is to gain trust and harmony, to achieve partnership and awareness."
Franziska Görwitz, trainer, Pferdezentrum Bad Saarow and research assistant, FU Berlin: "Lots of young people studying as well as prospective students come to HIPPOLOGICA. They are mainly interested in behavioural science, the correct care of horses and in training composure. Here at my stand I am in touch with current trends and am in the right place."
Heike Mertens, Berliner Islandpferde Freunde e.V.: "We came here with three clubs and five stables and were talking to people all the time. We had a gangway directly next to our stand where we were able to demonstrate the typical walking gait of Icelandic Horses. On Friday numerous school parties came to visit who held long and in-depth conversations with the horse trainers."
Christine Möller, Eselfreunde im Havelland e.V.: "There was a constant stream of visitors to the straw-covered enclosure of Eselfreunde Havelland. Children had makeup put on at the tables and painted plaster figures. Next to them stood Sir Henry, a dwarf donkey, and Sander, a large donkey, who wore broadly chequered leg protectors, an age-old French tradition. This is my third year here. People are becoming increasingly interested in donkeys and want precise information on how to keep them."
Olaf Peter, chairman of Berliner und Brandenburger Hufbeschlagschmiede IG: "This is our fifth year here and each time we are also involved with the tournaments. We made new horseshoes for numerous horses taking part. On the weekend we were visited by nearly a dozen school classes. Our visitors took a particular delight in being able to make a horseshoe in the shape of a heart."
HIPPOLOGICA Berlin is the equestrian event with the largest indoor riding tournament (including Class S** show jumping trials) in the German capital. Combining a show, sports, education and shopping opportunities, HIPPOLOGICA Berlin is the annual winter highlight for all riders and breeders from the local region. The next exhibition for equestrianism will take place from 10 to 13 December 2015 and will include a wide-ranging and outstanding programme of events featuring information and sports. More information on HIPPOLOGICA is available online at www.hippologica.de.