12 Feb VR CLASSICS – Outstanding field for international sport
(Neumünster) For four days, from 14th to 17th February, the Neumünster Holstenhallen will transform themselves into an international sporting arena – the ultimate destination for horse transporters en-route from right across the globe. Guests from around 20 different countries will be coming for international show-jumping and dressage sport, for the FEI Dressage World Cup, the show competition and the indoor eventing. People know each other, and that is the case too for the visitors who flock to the Holstenhallen in their thousands. One thing’s for certain, this will be a weekend to remember. Around 270,000 euros’ prize money is up for grabs, as well as World Cup points in the dressage, and world-ranking points in the show jumping.
International, cosmopolitan, North German
Schleswig-Holstein’s top riders like Carsten-Otto Nagel (Wedel) and Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann (Pinneberg) will be present, as will prominent guests from right across Germany and beyond – Olympic silver medallist Peder Fredricson (Sweden) and his compatriot Rolf-Göran Bengtsson amongst them. Also heading for the start line are world-class rider Christian Ahlmann (Marl), German Champion Mario Stevens (Molbergen), former European Champion Marco Kutscher (Bad Essen) and last year’s Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken Grand Prix winner Christopher Kläsener, who works as a trainer at the Kutscher Stables. The show-jumping action at the VR CLASSICS is set to be really rather extraordinary.
Truly spectacular – the FEI Dressage World Cup
Early indicators were that there would be a breathtakingly good field of competitors for the ninth of ten qualifying stages in the FEI Dressage World Cup in Neumünster, and the all-star cast has now been confirmed. With Dorothee Schneider (Framersheim), Helen Langehanenberg (Billerbeck) and Benjamin Werndl (Aubenhausen) on board, all of the top three ranking World Cup candidates in the Western European league will be at the VR CLASSICS. Giving them a run for their money will be the world’s most successful dressage rider, Isabell Werth (Rheinberg), who is also the current title holder in the overall World Cup and will be bringing two of her Grand Prix horses – Emilio and Weihegold OLD – with her to the Holstenhallen. Morgan Barbancon Mestre from Spain and Charlotte Haid-Bondergard (Sweden) are amongst the World Cup Top 20, and Irish rider Judy Reynolds is hoping to take the chance in Neumünster to claim her spot in the field of finalists for the FEI Dressage World Cup. Schleswig-Holstein has a home favourite – Kathleen Keller (Appen) – represented in the field. On Saturday the qualification contest will take place in the form of the Grand Prix de Dressage (Madeleine Winter-Schulze Prize) before World Cup qualification is decided on Sunday from 10.00 in the VR Bank Neumünster Prize – Grand Prix Freestyle.
VR CLASSICS – the place to be
This is certainly the case not just for riders and spectators, but also for the sponsors, partners, politicians and economists who make a beeline for the VR CLASSICS. The director of the Football Association has been known to stop by, along with the Lord Mayor, a Wimbledon champion and the chairman of the regional council. State premiers can be seen chatting to show jumpers, horse dealers with bankers. The atmosphere is warm and familiar despite the range of languages, the weight of expectation and the fierce sporting competition. With four world-ranking jumping competitions and the FEI Dressage World Cup on its books, the VR Classics has long been an established part of the highest-level international sporting circuit, but it is far from aloof.
Sponsorship par exellence
The Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken, and the VR Bank Neumünster extended their partnerships with the VR CLASSICS – which began under a slightly different guise around four decades ago – back in November 2018. Just weeks later a new member joined the tournament’s group of sponsors – BEMER Int. AG, an international health company. BEMER Int. AG is renowned for physical vascular therapy for both people and animals. Three years ago BEMER Int. AG took over as main sponsor of the Riders Tour and found itself enjoying a win-win situation. Close collaboration with riders and grooms quickly led to rapid and valuable developments in the company’s veterinary line. And it’s not just the horses who enjoy relaxing under the therapeutic blankets – the riders swear by the benefits too.
The perfect recipe: Stars, pros, fun, family time
Variety is a hallmark of the VR CLASSICS, as is top-class sporting action. In the Holstenhallen the best pony riders in Schleswig-Holstein rub shoulders with stars such as Christian Ahlmann or Isabell Werth. World Championship competitors like Kai Rüder storm through the indoor eventing at lightning speeds and Schleswig-Holstein’s riding and driving associations enchant audiences in the show competition. No-one is left out, everyone has their place in the programme, and this inclusivity and range keeps the VR CLASSICS grounded. In Neumünster new careers can begin: Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann conquered the Holstenhallen back when she was a young pony rider, and now it is the turn of the likes of Giulia Maria Schöttler and Johanna Beckmann to battle it out in the Pony and Junior competitions of the ‘Pferdestadt Neumünster’ Championships.
Need a break?
There are plenty of culinary delights awaiting hungry and thirsty guests in Halls 4 + 5, around which is the sales exhibition – approximately 8000 square metres filled with the latest in equestrian sports gear, fashion and accessories – a big attraction. There’s also the chance to relax in the warm-up area of Hall 5, where a big screen will be showing all the sporting action from Hall 1.
VR CLASSICS on TV and Live Stream
The NDR television channel will be broadcasting pure sporting thrills live from the Holstenhallen on Saturday and Sunday in ‘Sportclub live’. In addition, equestrian sports portal www.clipmyhorse.tv will be live streaming the action in Neumünster from Thursday morning onwards. The results of the FEI Dressage World Cup taking place in the Holstenhallen will be shown on www.feitv.org .
Saturday, 16th Feb. 16.00 – 16.45 h Sportclub live
Sunday, 17h Feb 13.45 – 15.15 h Sportclub live
Get your tickets
There are lots of ways to purchase tickets for the big classic of the sporting calendar: Online at https://vrclassics-tickteshop.reservix.de/events . By phone: 04321 / 755421 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . Tickets can be bought at the venue itself until 12th February at the Caspar von Saldern-Haus in Neumünster, Haart 32 · 24534 Neumünster. Opening times: Tues and Wed 9:00–12:00 and 13:00–17:00, Thurs 9:00–12:00 and 13:00–18:00. From 13th February onwards tickets will be available from the main entrance to Holstenhallen 4 + 5.
Press Release 2019 February 12th