Bring on the clowns! And the horses too!
Every Friday Counter-Canter Culture features the important US and International Horse Shows
Stuttgart German Masters
In 1985, the unassuming city of Stuttgart was given a horse show. Now, thirty years later, the Stuttgart German Masters is still going strong and is in fact better than ever. Why is that? Let’s take a look around and find out.
First of all, this is a horse show that started strong. From the beginning its mixture of sport and show was spot on. The “Pas de Deux” performed by the Dane Anne-Grethe Jensen riding Marzog and Dr Reiner Klimke on Ahlerich at the first edition of the Stuttgart German Masters is legendary. Take a look for yourself, and you’ll see why!
And to this day, Stuttgart is known for outstanding performances. In the show jumping arena, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum proved to be consistently outstanding on her famous horse Shutterfly, winning the Grand Prix three times in a row between 2006 and 2008; while her brother-in-law Ludger Berbaum has claimed victory on five occasions himself.
Meanwhile in the dressage court, the dressage titan Isabell Worth always shines. The five-time Olympic champion has won the Masters title on 10 occasions – on three different horses. And there is no end in sight.
Today, the Stuttgart German Masters is the only horse show in the world with four World Cup classes on its calendar, in show jumping, dressage, driving and vaulting. Plus, the show exhibits an indoor eventing competition, making it a total of five disciplines on display!
That’s a lot of action, and we haven’t even explored the shows and parties that round out the Stuttgart experience yet. At Stuttgart, the shows are almost as serious as the competition. Opening night is traditionally an evening of all entertainment. This year’s program included the Stuttgart police’s mounted branch, the highly-popular herd of Arabians belonging to the state stud in nearby Marbach, “Dancing Fire” and “Dance in the Air” performed by Ana Ayromlou and Oliver Jubin, and the iWEST Hungarian Post 32-heavy horse riding formation from Oberland in Bavaria. These performances repeat all weekend long, including those lederhosen-wearing Bavarians on horseback!
After the classes and official entertainment wraps up for the day, the party goes on in the catacombs of Schleyerhalle arena!. Stuttgart cult-favorite cover band, “Königlich Württembergische Hofbräu-Regiment,” keeps the party going to the early hours of the morning with their historical costumes and rock and pop music that packs a punch. Now that sounds like a must see!
And if all that weren’t enough, this year Stuttgart also has a German hero on hand. FIFA World Cup superstar, Thomas Müller, will be in the stands cheering on his semi-professional dressage rider wife, Lisa. Seriously, how much World Cup action can one arena hold?!
It almost goes without saying that, if you can, you should absolutely check out the Stuttgart German Masters this weekend. And on the odd chance that a trip to Germany isn’t on your schedule, catch the action on FEI TV: www.feitv.org.
All pictures via Stuttgart German Masters Facebook page.