It is just a few metres from the Albert Vahle Arena on the CHIO Aachen showgrounds to the world-famous stadiums. 6,300 spectators fit inside the Deutsche Bank Stadium, the Main Stadium holds a capacity of 40,000. There will only be around 1,000 spectators at the “Aachen Youngstars” event that is being staged in the Albert Vahle Arena from 28.11. onwards – because that’s the maximum capacity.
When the best, aspiring talents meet up in Aachen, many of them will risk taking a look inside the big stadiums. Because if you ask the young dressage and show jumping cracks what their goals are, almost all of them reply: To be able to compete at the CHIO Aachen one day. The rest say: To win at the CHIO Aachen one day. The best young dressage talents will be travelling to Aachen from November 28th to December 1st, the show jumpers are set to compete at the Soers the weekend after (December 5th-8th). The “Aachen Youngstars” event is steeped in tradition. For over a quarter of a century the best, aspiring show jumpers have been heralding in the Advent period in Aachen, initially under the title, “Salut-Festival”. In four age groups they battle it out to claim the victory in the Grand Prix and to secure themselves the title of Indoor Champion. The top, young dressage stars have also been on board too since 2017, which is why the event was retitled “Aachen Youngstars”.
Many big names have been among the youngstar competitors, including for instance Marcus Ehning, Laura Klaphake, Christian Ahlmann and Simone Blum in terms of the riders, but also among the horses as well – “Pret a Tout” for example with whom Ehning rode to victory in the Rolex Grand Prix last year at the CHIO Aachen. “Youngstars today –CHIO tomorrow” is the motto for many of the participants. “Of course, we all want to compete next door someday – the stadiums of the CHIO Aachen are a magical place,” stated Johanna Kullmann and she is not alone in her opinion. The dressage rider was able to win all three pony classifications last year.
“Aachen Youngstars” – that is top sport, but also a unique atmosphere. The indoor arena is seasonally decorated and there is even a small Christmas market installed along one side of the hall. A further highlight is the “Aachen Youngstars Late Night presented by the Allianz”, a dressage show on Saturday evening (30.11.). In addition to show performances featuring among others Britta Rasche and the dancers of the Ferberberg Ballet School, the famous trainer, Ton de Ridder, will explain in an amusing way how a dressage freestyle is put together. The social media star, Lia Beckmann (@liaundalfi), will also be in action in the saddle. The show will be hosted by Annica Hansen (@annicahansen). Admission to the show night and the competition on all days is free of charge.