19 May 2017
Minden: new obstacle with ConservatoryThe Pony World Championships will be returning to Germany for the first time since 2009, when they were held in Greven. From August 15-20th Minden-Kutenhausen will host the worlds best single, pair and four-in-hand pony drivers.
Preparations are well underway in Minden, just three months before the medals will be handed out and the national anthems will play. Competition organizer and host Christof Weihe and his six-man strong team are working every day to prepare the show grounds. They are joined in the weekend by a group of enthusiastic pony drivers. “Approximately 20 volunteers show up every weekend to help and have a lot of fun while doing it.” tells Weihe. “We don’t know yet which of them will be able to compete, but everyone is going to be at the show whether they are a competitor or volunteer. The pony drivers are really building their own world championship.”
Conservatory in marathon obstacle
Minden is expecting between 100 and 110 pony combinations. “The number of countries and competitors is not yet certain, but I do know that drivers from the USA have expressed interest in coming,” tells the organizer. Every country may send four single, four pair and four four-in-hand drivers to Minden. Germany, as hosting country may send six from every division. Weihe, who is himself a pair pony driver, and his daughter, four-in-hand driver and reigning German champion Jacqueline Walter, hope to be chosen to compete for Germanay at this ‘home’ World Championship: “We are both currently short-listed for the German team and hope that we can start. It will certainly be a challenge to balance competing and organizing the competition, but we are trying to have as much accomplished in advance so that the championships will run smoothly.”
Weihe and his team also have something special up their sleeve for the side program. The opening on Tuesday August 15th will be held in the middle of the city of Minden. Flags will be hung for all of the countries represented, teams will be presented and a number of single, pair and four-in-hands will drive through the city. “This will be a great opportunity to show our guests the city, and for the locals to see what kind of event we are organizing.”
After the dressage, winners and their teams will be brought to the Kaiser-Wilhelm monument near the Porta Westfalica by touring bus for their moment in the sun.
On marathon day, the obstacles will not be the only attraction. A large event with American cars, and Rockabilly bands will also be held on the show grounds. After the prize giving and the closing ceremonies on Sunday afternoon there will be a Schlagerconcert featuring Jürgen Drews.