More than 800 riders and handlers with nearly 900 horses will head to Aachen, Germany, for the 2006 Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Equestrian Games (FEI Games) scheduled for August 20-September 3.
Competition in seven disciplines--dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping and vaulting--will be held during the two weeks. Over €1.35 million in prize money is at stake.
Organizers expect an audience of 500,000 spectators for the 2006 WEG, a larger number than previous years and 200,000 more than usually attend equestrian events at Aachen. WEG takes place every four years, in the Summer Olympic Games' off-years.
The 25 top-scoring riders from the team competition will ride in the Grand Prix Special on Thursday, August 25. A new FEI rule change this year gives additional medals for the Grand Prix Special. This does not affect the results of the individual medals, because scores are zeroed coming into the freestyle. The top 15 horses and riders from the Special will ride in the Freestyle on Saturday, August 26 to determine the world champion.
The demand for tickets has been high with over 300,000 of the 500,000 available tickets sold. Show jumping and endurance tickets are completely sold out. Seating for the dressage Grand Prix Kür (freestyle) individual final is also sold out. At this time, a limited amount of tickets remain for the dressage team competition and the individual Grand Prix Special. Ticket information and a complete schedule of events can be found online at www.aachen2006.de.
Those who still wish to attend the 2006 WEG can go in style with VIP dressage or jumper packages from Cross Country International. The equestrian vacation company is offering a six-night dressage package for $5,385 per person, including accommodations, and a seven-night jumper package, complete with accommodations, for $7,695.
Meet the top European dressage riders and horses that will vie for team spots at the FEI Games in the June 2006 issue of Dressage Today magazine. Plus, visit EquiSearch.com August 20-September 3 for in-depth WEG coverage by Nancy Jaffer!