Mr and Mrs Glock again staged four days of international showjumping at their performance centre in Treffen, Austria last week (2-5 February). So what it it that makes their show so special?
1. The attention to detail
They’ve thought of everything, and everything is perfect. The theme to this show was Japan, which meant not only dancers in traditional dress but also real cherry trees, complete with blossom, inside. The surface of the cocktail bar, at which the world champion cocktail maker was plying his trade, featured koi carp decoration, and the big screen, on which highlights of the previous day’s jumping and entertainment were playing, was inside a giant oriental fan.
But the attention to detail doesn’t stop there. Should you wish not to use the hand-dryer in the toilets, for example, there’s a very nice lady waiting to offer you an individual purple towel, complete with Glock logo. And talking of the logo, there it also is, on a cappuccino and the chocolate that came with it. And on a paper napkin, complete with more cherry blossom.
2. There was a red carpet for the horses and riders
Possibly it was actually more pink than red, but let’s not split hairs about it, that’s class.
3. The grooms of the top three in each class got a bottle of champagne
They came into the ring for the prize-giving, and their enormous contribution was rightly recognised.
4. Talking of the ring…
What a place to ride in. It was immaculate, the fences beautiful, the surface looked pretty damn good (it’s harrowed mid-way through a class if there’s a big entry) and there were illuminated showjumping poles in the corners; a nice touch. Even the warm-up ring is pretty smart, plus you can watch it from the main arena’s viewing gallery.
5. The people
They couldn’t be more welcoming. Anything you want to eat or drink or do (within reason) is fine by them.
Eating gluten-free, for example? No problem, a personalised pudding plate is delivered within minutes. (And those were possibly the best blueberries in the world.)
6. The quality
Glock’s motto is “perfection” and it has to be said that’s not far off the mark. The showjumping was top-class, as was the food and drink (the cocktail-maker wasn’t the only world champion; oh no. The pizza-making world champion was also doing his thang) and the entertainment. Nicole Scherzinger on Thursday night, Kylie Minogue on Friday and Robbie Williams on Saturday. Oh, and John Travolta, Joan Collins, Naomi Campbell and Hugh Grant were among the guests. And no, Hugh didn’t come and meet a fellow H&H reporter. Sigh.
7. The randomness (in a good way)
Where else would you find an oriental dragon, just wandering through the crowd, happily posing for photos and doing some impressive twerking en route? Then there were the stilt-walkers, in Japanese dress, as were the ladies who handed out hand cream and tins of mints (all Glock branded, of course). Not to mention the white, bling-encrusted overreach boots for sale in the Glock shop.
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8. The party
If you have Robbie or Kylie on stage, it’s not going to be an average night. And if you’ve got the world champion cocktail-maker on hand, it would be rude not to sample his creations. His catchphrase, by the way, was: “I don’t like to see empty glasses”. What’s a girl to do?
I don’t know what the cocktail I had was. But I do know I liked it a lot. And, like I said, glasses don’t stay empty for long…
9. The fact they can control the weather (possibly).
One of the drivers said that not long before the show, temperatures in the town had been –15C at night, warming to –10C during the day. But last weekend, it was balmy, coat-off weather at just about all times.
Then, on Monday morning by which time everyone had gone home, the town of Treffen woke up to inches of snow, with more falling thickly. Coincidence?
10. This sign
Horses take priority. That’s what we like to see.
Don’t miss our full report Glock Horse Performance Center in today’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (9 February 2017)