For the past few years, the international topliners of dressage have found their way to the WC Young Dressage Horses in Ermelo. To no one’s surprise as it is one of the most beautiful events on Dutch soil. Dressage enthusiasts from all over the world can indulge in top-notch sport as the battle for the medals is an exhilarating competition to watch. Aat Both is one of the founders of this event. This year, he bids his position as chairman farewell. About time to review the past editions with him. We also spoke with Hidde Frankena, who may call himself chairman of the WC for Young Dressag Horses from 2023 onwards.
“Traditionally, the WC was organised in Verden, Germany. A fantastic show that always drew a big crowd. When the KNHS and KWPN shared their ambition to host the WC in the Netherlands, I was all for it”, Aat commences. “Our location in Ermelo ticked all the boxes as a potential candidate to take on the organisation of the WC. After the allotment by the FEI we have started the preparations in 2014/2015. The main difference with Verden? The fact we are a ‘dressage only’ event. We truly dedicate ourselves to dressage sport and that is one of the keys to our success in my eyes.”
Hidde: “Aat is truly the founder of the event as we know it now. Drenched with innovative ideas, that ensure an even better experience every edition. If you add it all up, he has been actively engaged in the WC for over 8 years. For the past few years, we have worked together closely because of my position as board member. The transition to chairman has therefore been a smooth one.
Enjoy the show
Aat: “My task as chairman of the Foundation Board is to represent the interests of various parties (KNHS and KWPN). Our main priority to organise a successful event. Looking back, I can say I am proud of what we have established, the format and scope of the event and especially how it keeps on developing. It is now time to take as step back, however I will continue to follow the WC up close. This summer I get to enjoy the show as a visitor.”
The organisation remains as ambitious as ever. For the coming two years, the event was assigned to Ermelo. The application has been submitted for the following three years. Hidde: “We get such positive feedback from the riders, grooms, and national coaches. All elements are present to show the horses in an optimal manner. Welfare is always our main priority, ensuring horses gain a positive competition experience. Nearly all best riders the dressage world has to offer, descend on Ermelo to present their horses and school them for the higher levels of sport. Another unique aspect to our dressage event is the partnership with Longines. The luxury timepiece brand has mainly struck up partnerships with prestigious showjumping events. The WC is the only dressage event in which Longines is active.”
The organisation of the WC for Young Dressage Horses thanks Aat for his boundless dedication to this event. In part thanks to his efforts, this show has developed in to the world-class event we know it as today.
The best dressage combinations return to Ermelo from August 3 through 6, 2023. Block these dates in your calendar and join us for the biggest dressage festival of the Netherlands.
Photo: Dirk Caremans/HippoFoto.be