Held every 4 years, alternating with the Olympic Games and under the authority of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), the World Equestrian Games are the biggest equestrian event in the world. They will be held from 23 August to 7 September 2014.
The event brings together 8 official disciplines over a period of two weeks of competition: jumping, dressage, eventing, driving, reining, vaulting, endurance and para-dressage.
Over 60 nations and nearly 1000 athletes will come together to demonstrate equestrian competitions of the highest standard to the 500 000 visitors expected at the various sites.
The competition is billed as the great celebration of the horse through a highlighting and embellishing of its history, its culture and its influence, thanks to a vast programme of entertainment. Its main theme: a journey through time, the continents and the imagination.
Jean-Louis Gouraud, a writer and specialist on the equestrian world, has been asked to take up his pen and recount the history of the horse and its relationship with Man since the beginning of humanity in 80 short stories. Since the end of November, these tales have also begun a ‘voyage’ across Normandy, printed out on billboards exhibited month after month in ten of the region’s special sites.
On Saturday 23 August 2014, from 8.30pm, the opening ceremony will introduce this Around the World in 80 horses project in its own unique way, in front of 20,000 spectators in the Ornano stadium in Caen.
Organised in the Parc des Expositions in Caen, the village will open every day with one of the stories from Around the World. The children will be able to take part in one of the various riding activities, in the different equestrian cultures, as well as having their first ride on a pony or a go at vaulting. Open stables will be installed enabling the public to get up close to the horses and even touch them. The village’s two sand footing areas, will serve as the backdrop for a series of artistic displays, skills demonstrations and showcasing of the different disciplines from the universe of Around the World in 80 horses, not all of which will be equestrian.
In the midst of the village, some twenty to twenty-five bands will take it turns on the main stage: country, blues, pop, French songs... Taking the stage one after the other will be regional artists who top the billon a national and international level.