Šamorín, Slovakia, April 24, 2018 - The best riders in the world will meet this week in Šamorín, Slovakia. The prestigious Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Slovakia 2018 will start this week (April 26-29, 2018) at the outstanding x-bionic® sphere resort. We spoke about the event and some of the organisational challenges involved with Event Director Denis Monticolo.
This is the first time that Slovakia will host the most important jumping series event in the world. What can we say about the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup ™ in general? This competition is not only important for Slovakia. The Nations Cup circuit is the most important outdoor series in world. This year, the FEI is proposing a new format with the Nations Cup on Sunday, which is the day normally dedicated to the Grand Prix. But the concept of the competition is so important, to grab the maximum exposure, that FEI decided to organise the competition on Sunday. The Nations Cup also has a new title sponsor - Longines, and we are really glad to work together with this historical sponsor that supports this series and the equestrian world with so much passion.
What does it mean for Slovakia and x-bionic® sphere? For Slovakia, for Šamorín, and x-bionic® sphere, it is a big honour to have been selected by the FEI to host this event. We will be the first European leg of the series, because it started in the US, continued in Mexico and the United Arab Emirates, European riders are willing to start the season here. In general, we will have the best riders and horses in the world in Šamorín as well as the best teams trying to collect points to qualify for the finals in Barcelona. X-bionic®’s goal was to be one of the most important venues on the equestrian calendar, and the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup ™ gave us the chance to let all of the equestrian community know about this resort. We are talking about the best riders in Europe starting their season in x-bionic® sphere.
Let’s talk about the starting list. Who will be the ones to watch? There are some nations that will be in x-bionic® sphere with their top team riders. One of them is the Swiss team with Steve Guerdat and Martin Fuchs. Also, the Belgian team with Pieter Devos, Nicola Philippaerts, and Jos Verlooy. And then, I would love to say Italy, with the international riders Alberto Zorzi and Piergiorgio Bucci.
Who will we see competing for Slovakia in x-bionic® sphere? We will have the two best riders in the country competing in the CSIO 5* as individuals: Bronislav Chudyba, one of the youngest and most talented Slovak riders who used to compete worldwide at the 5* level, and the second one is Radovan Sillo, who is a really experienced rider also competing in many international events all year long.
x-bionic® sphere is not only important as the first European leg of the Nations Cup series, but also because this year is the year of the World Equestrian Games…
First of all, we have to say, that teams competing in the Nations Cup Division 1 can collect qualifying points for the Barcelona Finals in only five events in Division 1. So the teams have to start in all of the dedicated events and get the best possible results and the maximum number of points. The second important thing is, this is the year of the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina in the US in September. As you can imagine, there is a big interest among the riders to also be on the team for the WEG, so all the athletes are trying to show their best. Having only five events for teams to get the qualifying points they need, there is no time to lose in any competition. It is very important for the riders in their preparation for the WEG, so there will be a lot of attention on the Nations Cup this year.
What is the most important aspect from an organisational point of view in Šamorín? x-bionic® sphere is a fantastic venue that is ready to host these top-level events. Its arenas, stables, and seating areas are permanent and of the best quality, so we could concentrate the maximum attention on the sport program. We will offer riders and the public competitions across four different arenas: two on grass and two on sand. We will be the first 5* offering this kind of sports solution. Usually, the CSIO organisers don’t have as much space to work with, so they offer one arena only.
The welfare of the horses is very important… We expect about 500 horses and riders, and the space here is not a problem. The welfare of the horses and the comfort of the athletes is very important. Upon arrival, the horses will be received by our team composed of two stable managers, two veterinarians, and 10 support staff members who will also take care of all the materials the athletes need. Tuesday and Wednesday will be the most crowded days and we will provide riders and grooms with the best possible solutions. The event offers top equestrian sport but also an attractive accompanying program.
What can we expect? During the four days we will offer a rich family program and an interesting food village. This will be located between the two most important arenas, directly on the beautiful grass field, so the public can enjoy different kinds of food options while watching the competitions. On Sunday afternoon, there will also be a special program for kids with the mascot Shrek and a lot of attractions. X-bionic® sphere will be ready to host everyone with a passion for horses.
Interesting Numbers: 500 horses and riders, 18 countries competing in all categories, 250.000 total prize money in euros, 2.500 bales of shavings for the horses, 1.000 bales of hay, 300 rosettes, 50 trophies, 3.000 carrots for horses, 2.000 apples for horses
Web site: http://xbionicsphere.com/en/jumping-events/longines-fei-jumping-nations-cup-of-slovakia-2018 - here -
Press Release x-bionic® sphere resort/SPR media Michaela Grendelov