The Longines FEI European Championships fulfilled all the organisers’ hopes and wishes of a great event. All three championship venues attracted huge numbers of visitors and when you add the Swedish team’s excellent performance during the week, the Championships really was a success story.
The Championship week started off spectacularly by an opening ceremony in front of a nearly sold out Ullevi Stadium, where Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine officially declared the championships open.
At Heden Arena, the venue that was free to enter, Para-Equestrian Dressage started the week. The amazing riders fought hard to earn the medals and many great moments were captured on film where the incredible interplay between rider and horse really showed. Swedish rider Louise Etzner grabbed a bronze and a silver medal. The week continued with Driving, an event that attracted huge crowd who wanted to experience the fast paced driving up close. As the Driving Marathon came around on Saturday, the streets were lined with people as the teams travelled from Heden Arena to Slottsskogen City Park, where they were greeted by 30 000 people who enthusiastically cheered the competitors on. Heden Arena was also home to the event area where shopping, restaurants and activities welcomed a great number of people during the championship week.
Ullevi Stadium hosted the Jumping and Dressage and the iconic venue impressed both riders and visitors. Sweden started strong and grabbed their first medal on Wednesday with a team bronze in Dressage. The gold went to Germany with the experienced Isabell Werth leading the way.
Not to be outshone, the Swedish jumping team responded on Friday by taking the silver in the Team Jumping event, beaten only by Ireland. As the final event of the week, the Individual Jumping, rolled around, the crowds had descended in force on Ullevi Stadium. They were there to cheer on Peder Fredricson and his incredible horse H&M All In, who reciprocated by winning the gold medal to a raucous reception from the home crowd.
The best young riders (under 25) competed successfully in the Lövsta Future Challenge International in both Jumping and Dressage at Ullevi Stadium. The competition was very well received and attracted big crowds.
The Championships have received a lot of praise from visitors, the tourism and hotel trade and the sports world. Moving the horses and the events in to the city and making equestrian sport accessible to everyone was a huge success.
THE LONGINES FEI EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS GOTHENBURG 2017
3 venues in the city centre
400 media representatives
100 exhibitors at Heden Arena
3 stable areas
3780 chip bales
40 000 square metre riding area
10 000 tons of ground preparation material
Environmentally certified event