The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy takes place August 23-September 7 in France. A group of journalists headed there October 9-12 to check things out. For three days they immersed themselves in the culture, savored the food and viewed the venues where the eight disciplines will be showcased.
Those eight disciplines include Dressage, Show Jumping, Reining, Vaulting, Para Equestrian, Driving, Endurance and Eventing. For the most part the first five will be taking place in the region of Caen. The close proximity of the venues one from the other makes it easier to get from venue to venue via the media shuttles.
If your accommodations are within the city of Caen, the time spent in shuttles will be less. However, for the Eventing and Endurance there will be a bit of a drive to get to the venues where those two events will be held.
Endurance will take place in the vicinity of Mont Saint Michel, a spectacular island commune whose central focus is its church which dates back to the eighth century. The church is surrounded by water which disappears when the tide is low but appears like a moat around this antique building during high tide.
The Endurance will take place in the lands surrounding Mont Saint Michel. The Endurance starts and finishes at Sartilly which is about six miles from Mont Saint Michel. Imagine what it will be like for not only the tourists but the riders with such a spectacular island as the backdrop throughout their ride.
The Eventing will also have an historical setting and will take place at Haras du Pin, the French National Stud founded in 1715. It is the oldest and most prestigious of the French stud farms. This spectacular horse breeding venue will be the site of the cross-country phase of Eventing.
King Louis XIV was the visionary who inspired the creation of this now famous French landmark. The stud farm boasts beautiful stabling, green valleys, paddocks, and a museum highlighting the history of artisan skills for horses.
There is also a shop with a wide variety of items for sale. The buildings are relics that help one to relive what it was like in the 18th century.
Having the Eventing at such an historic location will create an incredible backdrop for a sport that dates back centuries.
In between touring Mont Saint Michel and Haras du Pin the group of journalists had a chance to meet Norman, the game’s mascot. And Norman is a horse…of course!
The drives between venues took approximately 2 hours with a one hour drive from Haras du Pin to the Best Western in Caen where the group would end their evening for some dinner and rest.
It was the culmination of three educational days where the group learned not only about the competition aspects of the upcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games but also the cultural connection. The Games will be a combination of enjoying the region of Normandy while also witnessing the world’s best equestrian talent at a championship competition that will test their skills to the maximum.
For more information about the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, visit their web site at http://www.alltechfeiweg2014-normandy.com/. To learn more about Alltech check out their web site at http://www.alltech.com/.