Aachen in Germany truly is a mecca for any equestrian enthusiast. Situated close to the western border with Belgium and the Netherlands, the venue is home to the annual CHIO, which brings together multiple disciplines. The showground has also hosted a number of championships including the 2015 European Dressage and Showjumping Championship and 2006 World Equestrian Games.
The main grass arena is truly vast, making even venues like Hickstead look small in comparison, with a separate surfaced arena for the dressage, that riders describe as ‘like riding in a cauldron’. Nowhere in the world will you find a more passionate or knowledgeable dressage audience. There is even an Aachen app that allows spectators to score the rider’s tests and compare their scores with those of the judges.
Dressage and jumping have inhabited Aachen for decades, with eventing joining the club for the 2006 World Equestrian Games and it’s remained an important part of the venue ever since. Equally, if not more exciting to watch, is the four-in-hand carriage driving, which is highly competitive in Europe.
If you’re considering a visit – you must go at least once – then check out our insider’s guide to Aachen.