Jumping Antwerp organizer John Dejager with JumpingClash Founder Daniel Entrecanales Ph. Dirk Caremans
Jumping Antwerp CSI5* is set to return to Antwerp, Belgium for its ninth edition this spring, from April 19 – 21, 2017. Significant changes are planned for the event, which this year is no longer a part of the Longines Global Champions Tour. Continuing on as a standalone event, Jumping Antwerp will occur at a new location this year, on the Sloepenweg River Banks.
Premiering for the first time as a CSI5* event will be the new JumpingClash Challenge, a concept that held its first-ever event last November, at Madrid Horse Week. In Madrid, JumpingClash took place as a CSI2*.
The concept for the event was initially pitched in 2011 by Daniel Entrecanales, President and Founder of the JumperClash Challenge format. The press was kept up to date over the course of the projects development until the event was approved by The FEI, allowing for there to be a 2016 premiere.
“We wished to create a show of our sport in order to make it attractive for TV channels, build a larger audience, and increase the return of the sponsors, the ones that make it possible. This is our holy grail,” said Entrecanales. “We are really proud to celebrate our CSI5* premiere at such a great event as Jumping Antwerpen.”
The unusual competition format aims to create an atmosphere that can be easily digested and followed by fans and newcomers of the sport alike. With its simple, bracketed design, individual riders compete against one another in a “clash” of two formats, with the loser being eliminated immediately while the winner moves on to compete against the next competitor. The cycle continues until there is ultimately one person left standing.
At last year’s event in Madrid, Switzerland’s Beat Mandli out jumped a field of 16 riders to capture 1st place, with American ider Lillie Keenan taking 2nd, and Germany’s Markus Beerbaum taking a respective 3rd.
“We wanted a project that would both showcase the Show Jumping Competition in a new and different format, and allow us to go back to our own identity and do thing out own way as we make changes to bring the event to yet another level,” said Johan Dejager, President of the Organizing Committee of Jumping Antwerpen.
Pieter Dejager, Event Director of Jumping Antwerpen, further elaborated on the details regarding these new and important novelties. The Sloepenweg River Banks venue offers a unique view of the river Scheldt on one side, and the newly renovated Havenhuis on the other.
“It also offers an opportunity to increase the interaction between visitors, the sport, and its horses in a safe manner,” said Dejager. “The space permits a bigger extension of the layout, and the warm up ring will be bordered by a spacious row of exhibition booths that will allow spectators to see the world’s best horses and riders warming up for the real thing.”
Dejager went on to introduce the JumpingClash Challenge as the most exciting class of the schedule, with the competition taking place over the course of three days and allowing the riders the option of alternating their horses on a daily basis. With this new format, the duration of the competition is defined, which allows for live coverage of the final day.
More on Jumping Antwerp at this link.