Will the dressage queens Charlotte Fry (GBR), Jessica Bredow-Werndl (GER), Isabell Werth (GER) and Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour (DEN) battle it out again? Can Jessica von Bredow-Werndl repeat her brilliant triple victory of the previous European Championships 2021? Or will men like Benjamin Werndl (GER) or Carl Hester (GBR) mingle with the medal favourites this time?
100 Days to Go
It will be exciting at the 2023 FEI European Dressage and Para Dressage Championships, which will take place in Riesenbeck, Münsterland, from 5 - 10 September 2023. There are still 100 days to go until the tournament - and there are only predictions about the sporting course of events. Important qualifying competitions are still to come and the national federations have therefore not decided which riders may represent the respective nations.
"We expect highly motivated athletes in the disciplines dressage and para-dressage and are looking forward to the athletes from all over Europe and guests from all over the world," says the show director Karsten Lütteken. "We are already working on being able to offer the best conditions for both championships within our equestrian center Riesenbeck International."
Arena in the Grass Stadium
For the European Dressage Championships, the large grass stadium, otherwise the venue for international show jumping competitions, such as the FEI European Show Jumping Championships 2021, will be specially converted into a compact dressage facility. The sand rectangle stands prominently in the middle of the arena, surrounded by covered and uncovered spectator stands, and the luxurious VIP area on the long side of the quadrangle.
The para-dressage competitions will take place less than 300 meters from the main arena on a spacious sand arena, directly in front of the large event hall that serves as the warm-up arena. Here the riders with disabilities can prepare for their performances in a quiet and concentrated environment.
Tickets and More
There is a grandstand where there is no need to reserve a seat and additionally there are natural green terraces on one side of the clay court where spectators can sit and be very close to the sporting action.
Demand for tickets is going well, but the organizer advises interested fans not to think too long about which seat they want to choose - some allotments are already sold out.
"Those who want to experience the show days with an excellent view of the action and in the most beautiful atmosphere, protected from the wind and weather and well looked after, can reserve a table in the VIP area directly at the arena," advises the show director.
He also gives this tip to his sponsors, who want to experience a week of dressage enjoyment at the highest level. In addition, the fans of dressage sport have the choice between different ticket categories at different prices (seat on covered grandstand, seat on grandstand without roof, strolling tickets without seat).
"Strolling tickets" with no seat access offer visitors the opportunity to stay throughout the facility and linger at all designated standing areas.
The program begins for the dressage riders on Wednesday 6 September (9 a.m. to about 5 p.m.) in the first group with the rides for the team classification. On Thursday 7 September (9 a.m. to approximately 5 p.m.) the second group will compete. Following the rides (approximately 5 p.m.), the team awards ceremony will take place.
On Friday 8 September the Grand Prix Special will start at 10:30 a.m., culminating with the Individual Victory Ceremony at approximately 5 p.m.
On Sunday 10 September the Freestyle will start at 1.30 pm. At 5 p.m. the winners of this last European Championship competition will be determined. They will be celebrated by the audience in the final award ceremony.
The Para dressage riders will begin their European Championships on Tuesday 5 September (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) in Grades (class division for severity of disability) 1 to 3. On Wednesday 6 September (9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.), the tests for Grades 4 and 5 are on the program. Thursday 7 September and Friday 8 September (starting at 9 a.m.) the teams in all five grades will determine their European champions. On Saturday, September 9, the Para dressage riders will conclude their championship with the freestyle competitions in all grades (from 9 a.m.).
CDI 4* and U25 Competition
In addition to the European Championship competitions, other international dressage competitions at 4* level and U25 competitions will also take place in the large stadium.
All further information and ticket sales at: www.riesenbeck2023.com
Photos © Astrid Appels - Dirk Caremans