The Organisers of the FEI European Jumping and Dressage Championships 2009 have announced that they will be held from Tuesday 25 – Sunday 30 August. The event will be held in the private grounds of Windsor Castle, Berkshire (UK) only normally open to the public once a year for the Royal Windsor Horse Show. The championships will be run on the same site as Royal Windsor, but not in conjunction with it.
This is the first time that two Olympic equestrian disciplines have been run together at European Championship level and at the same venue and is made possible by generous National Lottery funding of almost £1million awarded by UK Sport. The last time that either took place in the UK was when Hickstead hosted The European Dressage Championships in 2003. The last European Show Jumping Championship held in the UK, was also at Hickstead, back in 1999.
The provisional programme will see dressage take place on Tuesday(25) and Wednesday(26) afternoon and evening, and Thursday(27) and Saturday(29) evenings, with show jumping on the afternoons of Tuesday(25) and Wednesday(26), and the afternoons of Thursday(27), Friday(28), Saturday(29) and Sunday(30).
The Royal Windsor site will see a number of infrastructure developments over the next two years to ensure that it is ready to host the important competitions. Already boasting an impressive all-weather arena, plans are in place to extend the existing all-weather warm-up arena, and to install a second all-weather exercise area.
The project will be run by the HPower Group (organisers of Olympia, London International Horse Show, Royal Windsor and Competition Managers for the Athens Olympics) with support from the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), British Dressage (BD) and the British Show Jumping Association (BSJA), with funding being provided by UK Sport. Key appointments are expected to be made within the next month, but the Organising Committee will include representatives from HPower, the BEF, BD, BSJA and rider representatives from each discipline.
The logo for the event, launched today, is a striking design featuring a horse’s head composed of ribbons in red and blue on a white background – the colours are those of The Union Flag and represent, through the ribbons, the two different disciplines of dressage and jumping. Today also sees the launch of the website. This will feature useful information as well as being the place to register for up-to-the-minute announcements.
Event Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “We are very much looking forward to running this prestigious event in the historic surroundings of Windsor and Windsor Castle. We have a busy and exciting two years ahead of us but I am sure we will produce memorable championships.”
John Scott, International Director of UK Sport said, “We are delighted to be supporting this event, and with the run up to the London 2012 Olympics in mind it is important that we focus on producing sporting events at the very highest level.”
Tickets will go on sale next spring (‘08), and will be available on the website, as well as via a dedicated phone line (to be announced).