19 februari 2009

„Pairs Special“ in Lipica 2009…a Top Meeting!

The numbers speak for itself, almost 100 participants from 11 nations did not hesitate to make the long trip to the Slovenian Lipizzaner Stud Farm Lipica to attend the international driving seminar,,Pairs Special“ on 7 and 8 February 2009.

On the second day, Christian Iseli gave a lecture about the modern aspects of course design. The welfare of the horse was in the foreground in all aspects in this lecture as well. Christian Iseli’s illustration on the development in course design in the past years was very interesting. He also mentioned the big task awaiting him at the World Pairs Championship this year for which he is developing mobile obstacles for the highest level in driving.

The carriage driving highlights of the near future were also introduced and promoted during the ,,Pairs Special”.

Zoltan Kovacs, member of the Organising Committee of this year’s World Pair Driving Championship in Kecskemét, Hungary, represented the president of the Hungarian driving committee Jozsef Mondok. He gave a wonderful presentation, which made all participants look forward to the WC 2009.


An interesting part of the programme was the review of the history of Hungarian driving sport and the settlement of many top events in Hungary in the past. In Hungary, driving sport is the nr. 1 equestrian sport and large numbers of spectators are always guaranteed.

The Slovak National Stud farm Topolcianky is the stage of the Donau Alpen Pokal 2010. Since the start of this year, the Organising Committee is working actively towards the DAP 2010 and many modernisations and innovations will be introduced at this year’s CAI-A already. Member of the OC Michal Urban informed the participants extensively about the project.

The Golden Wheel Cup, initiative of the Austrian top event in Altenfelden, will be organized in 2009 for singles, pairs and four-in-hands and each discipline will have five events throughout Europe.

Many participants from Slovenia came to Lipica this weekend and used the opportunity to attend this high-class advanced training. The general opinion was that this seminar was a big step towards a positive future of Slovak and European driving sport.

Many talks, even some business, and many European exchanging of opinions and thoughts were also important aspects of the ,,Pairs Special”.
Perfect circumstances in Lipica, the latest techniques were implemented in both the seminar facilities and during the practical demonstrations in the riding school. The perfect accommodation of Hotel Maestroso and its excellent catering completed a wonderful event.

More theoretical and practical seminars are planned and already in autumn, probably during the first international driving event in Lipica, the productivity of good training will show itself.

The ,,Pairs Special” 2009 in Lipica was a future oriented event, motivated by European thinking. The organisers deserved the success and the positive feedback. Together we can develop the driving sport in the future in a positive way and defy the crisis.

For many participants the weekend in Lipica was the first contact with the FEI Driving Sport. This seminar will cause an enormous expansion effect of international carriage driving sport in Southeast Europe. Especially in this part of Europe there is an undiscovered potential and positive perspectives for the future of the driving sport, looking at the history of tradition and the enormous horse breeding potential.

The programme included high-level lectures from Dr. Franz Josef Vetter, FEI O-judge and Christian Iseli, FEI O-course designer. The details were explained by the practical demonstrations organized by Mitja Mahor?i?. A pair, driven by Hungary’s top driver Jozsef Bozsik as well as ridden Lipizzaner horses in different stages of schooling demonstrated by the trainer of the Lipizzaner Stud Farm Igor Mayer, formed excellent examples.

The first day was completely dedicated to the international sport. Dr. Franz Josef Vetter opened the seminar by explaining the most important changes in the new FEI regulations.
Saturday afternoon was scheduled for FEI Dressage Test no. 8B. The driving sport was theoretically resumed with an excellent Power Point presentation and was discussed within the smallest details. The organisational hurdle to translate into 6 languages was also solved.

The demonstration of the Stud Farm, the cultural Lipizzaner Stud Farm Lipica with its lovely buildings, the carriage museum and the impressive horses in a traditional atmosphere got the participants very enthusiastic.

The stallion quarters in Lipica are completely renovated and already ablaze at the end of last year on the occasion of the visit of the British Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. Now the participants of ,,Pairs Special“ were the guests.