Equestrian athletes from 74 nations and more than 100 horses took part in the opening ceremony of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in the D’Ornano Stadium on Saturday night (23 August) in front of a sellout crowd of 21,000 spectators.

The event, which marked the start of two weeks of elite equestrian sport, included a hi-tech lightshow and a display by popular French horseman Lorenzo. There were also speeches from FEI president Princess Haya and President of the games organising committee Laurent Beauvais. The games were officially opened by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

If you enjoyed this gallery, why not take a look at some more WEG pictures?

WEG showjumping: fence designs celebrate the best of Normandy [PICS]

The artist vertical at fence 5 has a very detailed hand acting as a wingThe showjumping course at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) was designed by Frederic Cottier. As well as the courses themselves, Frederic was responsible for the designs of the individual fences, which celebrate the best of Normandy, as well as the event’s sponsors. They also include a nod to the previous and future WEG venues.

Behind the scenes at the WEG eventing venue [PICS]

Harry Meade WEG first horse inspectionScroll through our photos of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games eventing dressage and cross-country venue at Haras du Pin. Highlights include the veterinary clinic, the main arena and the riders’ and chef d’equipes’ accommodation, known as Snooze Boxes.

 

WEG: 10 photos of mud at Hara du Pin [PICS]

It's how deep? MudWe know you all want to see it, so here you go — the mud at Haras du Pin, venue for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games eventing dressage and cross-country.

 

 

World Equestrian Games: H&H dips into the archives [PICS]

THE HAGUE 1994We’ve gone into the archives to take a look back at the games through the past few decades — from Kentucky and Rome, to Jerez and The Hague – right back to the inaugural event in Stockholm in 1990.

 

 

WEG showjumping warm-up day [PICS]

WEG SHOWJUMPING WARM UP DAYThe water jump caused plenty of problems for the 179 riders who used the opportunity to jump a warm-up round on Tuesday (1 September) ahead of the start of the world showjumping championships on Wednesday. See who fared best in our picture gallery from the D’Ornano Stadium in Caen, Normandy.