Scene Photos - Herning Gala Show

Tue, 03/07/2006 - 00:00
2006 Danish Warmblood Stallion Licensing

All photos copyrighted Astrid Appels/Eurodressage - No reproduction allowed

I'm not a very big fan of horse entertainment shows. Apassionata, Equitana, quadrilles, they are no core shakers to me, but the gala show in Herning is absolutely fabulous.

Always centered on a theme, the gala show is held on Friday and Saturday evenings, has a sell out crowd of 5,000 people and takes about three hours and a half to finish.

Last year, the gala show celebrated the anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen. This year the theme was horses, dance and music. The music is live, the light effects are great, the performances original and fun, and the horses and riders spread happiness and joy in the arena


The first duo to enter the ring were Inga von Helldorff on His Highness and Per Sandgaard on Zardin Firfod as "Men in Black"


The second act was a costume competition with three riders: Johannes Westendarp on Rosentanz (Old, by Rohdiamant), Stine Bo Nielsen on Sandro King (by Sandro Hit) and Michael Sogaard on Robin (DWB, by Rambo).

Westendarp was James Bond and brought a real Bond Girl from whom he got roses which he then gave to the judges in order to bribe them.

Definitely one of the funniest shows of the evening was Danish Grand Prix rider and trainer Michael Sogaard impersonating Madonna. He started his act by singing "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and then transformed into a Latex donned go-go girl that danced with a male stripper before mounting..... Sofie Jeppesen's Robin and riding to Madonna music (He shook his fake boobs in front of the judges to get higher points, which he got!!)

Absolutely brilliant was Arnaud Gilette's act with three very different horses. His presentation was a very artistic, individual show in which Gilette's arena performance was a communication with a video film projected on the screen behind him. This very clever piece of intermedial art was very unique and fascinating. Arnaud handled a small pony, an Akhal Teke horse that piaffed and passaged and he rode a draught horse that did a capriole.

The Indian show hit a soft spot. Not only were the rides accompanied with beautiful drum music (I love the drums), but it was ended with n FEI pony quadrille while a Danish famous child singer sang Pocahontas' "Colours of the Wind" live in the arena. It was a real goose bump moment!

For me, the Indian act was the best of the evening, but the final piano act came close to be the apex of the gala show. A piano was wheeled into the ring with one of Denmark's most famous piano players behind it. He played Danish tv-tunes which were recognized by the entire audience, while the piano player's son and Michael Sogaard on Faisal rode a pas de deux to the music. Absolutely fabulous!