It was a great risk that the organizers of the Sweden Horse Show took
with the introduction of “Saab Top 10 Dressage” last weekend, but it
turned out to be a success. A small, exclusive starter field was invited
to compete and to bring their sport closer to the spectators in the
Friends Arena in Stockholm, normally a soccer stadium that seats 50,000.
For this, the arena was divided into a training and exhibition part and
a competition ring that was bordered by a giant LED screen. Sport and
show complemented each other perfectly and attracted specators in
droves. Conceived and initiated by Patrik Kittel and generously
supported by Swedish automobile company Saab, the event was everything
that riders and organizers have been talking about and dreaming of for
years: A show that conveys top sport to the spectators in an
entertaining fashion without disregarding the necessary seriousness and
focus of the competition. The top ten of the world ranking list were
qualified to enter, and they didn’t only compete in the popular Grand
Prix and Freestyle combination but also held public training demos or
enjoyed posing as cool stars for an original, fun photo shoot.
This was exactly what our sport needs — I’m very happy to have been
part of it, and proud, of course, that I was able to win both tests of
this wonderful, exemplary premiere with Emilio.
Thanks to everyone who helped to make this possible!
(Fotos: Hobert & Krupa resp. Roland Thunholm)