Glock’s (yes the gunmakers) CSI5* showjumping show in Treffen, Austria last week (16-19 June) is like no other. H&H was one of the privileged few who had VIP access to the event and we just have to share our experience of this super-glamorous affair where everything was free.
Tall, good-looking (not that we noticed or anything…), men dressed in sharp suits were on hand 24/7 to shuttle guests anywhere within a 50km radius of the event. For most this was between the hotel in Villach and the show driving either brand new James Bond-style Jaguars or equally spangly Land Rover Range Rovers.
2. Marquee goals
This absolute beast takes organisers two weeks to construct. It has two floors and many, many rooms.
Horse-shaped topiary. Because why not?
4. Viva Las Vegas
Each show has its own theme, and this one was Las Vegas, hence this roulette wheel arena dressing. Snazzy.
5. Many lounges
Nine of them in total.
Public lounge: where anyone could drive in, park up and enjoy the action from a certain area of the show with the comfort of a bar and snacks
Cooking lounge: where live cooking demonstrations by two-star Michelin chef Alfons Schuhbeck took place
Kids lounge: Complete with arts and crafts, face painting and endless games
And in the rider’s lounge (for invited guests only)…
Dog lounge: Yes, really. Described as a place where dogs could relax and even enjoy a massage from canine physiotherapist Manfred Kellenc
Styling lounge: International hairstylist and make-up artist Eren Bektas and his team could make even the worst riding hat hair look like something straight out of Hollywood
Cigar lounge: Made right in front of you
Wellness lounge: Massage, manicures and pedicures
Cinema lounge: Especially for the children of those in the rider’s lounge, blockbuster films and popcorn on tap
6. We need to discuss the food…
Headed up again by Alfons Schubeck, there were eight ‘stations’ which each had a range of tasty options from breakfast, right through the day until the evening. The station themes were rice, roast, fish, vegetable, tartare, dessert, burger and spices. Again each dish was freshly made in front of you.
There was also fresh pizza on tap, again made right in front of you, cooked in a pizza oven led by Umberto Napolitano who founded the German pizza championships and runs his own pizza school in Berlin.
7. …And while we’re at it the drinks
The cocktail world champions, led by Mario Hofferer (who is the eight-time Austrian national and vice-champion and three-time bartender of the year award winner), created any (yes, any) cocktail you wished, right in front of your very eyes. For free. Oh, and they also wore these super-snazzy waistcoats with a glittery gun motif on the back.
Mr Schuhbeck also has his very own matcha energy drink. Oh and any tea or coffee you could think of was on the menu (accompanied by Glock’s cocoa dusting).
8. The loos
I’m sorry but the loos were something to behold. Occupied? Door handle glows red. Unoccupied? Door handle glows green. It was also someone’s job to hand out Glock’s embroidered hand towels after you had washed your hands.
9. Robbie Williams anyone?
Each night doors opened up into yet another enormous room where there was a big party. Acts performing included actual Robbie Williams, Nicole Scherzinger, cast members from various Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals (introduced on stage by the man himself) belting out some of his well-known pieces to a live orchestra and more. This was also prime time for celeb spotting: David Hasselhoff, Naomi Campbell, Georgia May Jagger to mention just a few who are all pals with the Glock family.
10. Not forgetting the action
Of course the most important part of all of this were the world class showjumpers in action. The likes of John and Robert Whitaker, Gerco Schröder, Bertram Allen, Laura Renwick and a whole host of others competed their top horses, while spectators were treated to luxurious ring-side seats. There was table service with the waiters getting worried if you didn’t have a full glass. People even came round in-between the first rounds and jump-off offering a selection of canapes and ice cream. It would have been rude to say no…