by Irith Jawetz from Vienna, Austria, September 23, 2012
“Pferd findet Stadt” – which means “Horse meets City” – this was the slogan for the 4 days event of the Global Champions Tour – Vienna Masters which took place in Vienna September 20 – 23, 2012.
Horses are part of Vienna – one needs only think of the white stallions of the Spanish Riding School (the Lippizaner) or the “Fiakers” (horse-drawn carriages) seen all over the city. Empress Elisabeth (“Sissi”) was a very prominent Austrian rider.
This special event is, perhaps, the most prestigious show jumping series in the world and it took place at the Rathausplatz in front of the Vienna City Hall. The Rathausplatz was transformed into a riding arena where 200 horses and 100 riders competed for four days in sixteen competitions. Prize money worth 600,000 euros made the Vienna Masters one of the highest paying tournaments in the world.
The competitors came from many different countries, including Qatar, Great Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, France, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, USA and many more, including many riders from the host country, Austria. A few celebrities also took part in the competition, like Bruce Springsteen’s daughter Jessica Springsteen and Princess Caroline of Monaco’s daughter Charlotte Casiraghi. The winner of the Global Champin competition was Penelope Leprevose of France riding her 12 year old horse Hengst Mylord Carthage.
Apart from the competitions the Vienna masters also presented a celebrity riding competitions, some charity and cultural events , and a performance by the Lipizzaner stallions of the Spanish Riding School on the last day of the competition.
Prices ranged from 26 euros to 80 euros, but during the first three days the entrance was free of charge until 2 p.m. This enabled many more spectators to take advantage of this great event. On Thursday and Friday we noticed many retired people on the stands. They could all attend for free.
Jessica Springsteen won the first qualification competition riding Wallace Vorado van den Hoedrick
Penelope Leprevost – winner of the Global Champions with her horse Hengst Mylord Carthage.
This was a great outdoor event which Viennese as well as tourists enjoyed very much.