In less than a week, thousands of riders will converge on Šamorín, Slovakia for the X-Bionic Sphere’s international show jumping season, and so far, all signs point to a knock out event.
Word is definitely out about this state of the art sporting facility known as XBS near the border of Austria. Organizers were taken aback by the interest in entries, and with a 750 horse capacity, they found themselves with a waiting list of 500 horses per week, from all over the world. As it is, 45 nations are confirmed to compete and include riders such as Jeroen Dubbeldam, Markus Beerbaum and Philippe Le Jeune. By bringing their top horses and students to compete in the CSI2*, 1* and so on, the schedule has quickly filled.
Amid the nomadic way of life of show jumping athletes, the chance to set down for two weeks is a welcome one.
“Multiple-week equestrian events are the best for the welfare of the horse and the comfort of the riders—we really believe in this type of event,” says Event Director Denis Monticolo. “Thanks to the facilities and it being a sport resort, XBS is perfect for a multiple week event. Riders can move their whole stables at XBS, where they find the same comfortable accommodations they left at home (sometimes even better!) Furthermore, thanks to the multiple arenas available, horses can experience different sport conditions and grounds.”
In August, XBS will host the FEI European Jumping Championships for Young Riders, Juniors and Children. At the end of the month, senior riders will return for CSIO3* of Slovakia. The year will wrap up with the X-Bionic Indoor Master CSI4* at the end of November. The full schedule is available here.
State of the art equestrian facilities include eight arenas, a galloping track, permanent barns and interlocking rubber pathways. A 300-room hotel resort gives riders little reason to trek to off-location lodging, but in addition to all of that, it is the sport atmosphere that seems to really be setting XBS apart.
Athletes from many different sports use the facility as part of their training program; on any given day one can run into a Slovakian Olympic swimmer in the hotel’s 50 meter outdoor pool. Or catch a glimpse of the Basketball National team having breakfast. The Galatasaray football club of the Turkish League used XBS as its training grounds during the summer. Bottom line—XBS is much more than just horses, and by setting horse sport amid this kind of sporting environment, well, everyone will be better for it.