Longines FEI World Endurance Championships 2012 set to open with a strong field and a flourish

      August 23, 2012, England ~The Longines FEI World Endurance Championships (25th August 2012) will open this evening (Thusday 23rd August 2012) with a lavish opening ceremony in the grounds of Euston Hall near Thetford, Suffolk.

A press conference today (23rd August) heard that the event to declare the competition officially open would celebrate the horse with a sensational display.

Created by Prisme International, the spectacle will include 3D mapping onto the side of Euston Hall following by a breath taking live show including fifty dancers together with performers and opera singers.

Organisers said creator Pierre Markout’s ceremony would also reflect the equestrian spirit of the Championships including a display by Mario Lurashi, one of the world’s leading stunt riders.

The multi-layered ceremony will also be lighting up the skies using a choreographed firework display, laser lighting and a hot-air balloon.

Speaking at the opening press conference, Ian Williams, FEI Director Non-Olympic Sports said: “These Championships will be a benchmark for others to follow in the future. It is a significant step up that reflects the worldwide growth and strength of endurance, which is now the second largest of the FEI disciplines.”

Ian Williams confirmed that there had been definite entries from 153 horse and rider combinations from 38 nations with 29 teams entered.

Mohammed Esse Al Adhab, President of the Organising Committee said: “Our focus at all times in creating this competition has been the welfare of the horse and rider as the number one priority. The Championships and opening ceremony will be a celebration of the athleticism of the endurance horse.”

Technical advisor John Robertson told the conference that the course would be “highly technical”.

He said: “This is a true riders’ course with lots of twists and tight turns. In some parts the track has been worn away leaving exposed flint stones – this going will need skill to negotiate and will benefit the most balanced horse and rider combinations.”

James MacEwan, Managing Director of Janah Management, organisers of the Championships, paid tribute to the hosting landowners and sponsors. “Without the support of the Duke of Grafton and the Euston Estate together with all the neighbouring landowners this event would simply not be possible and we are grateful to both them and our sponsors for their great generosity in enabling us to produce a competition of this quality and stature.”

Mohammed Al Khayat, Commercial Director of Meydan Group LLC said that Meydan together with title sponsor Longines and fellow supporting sponsor Emaar, was delighted to be involved in the Championships.

He said: “On behalf of Meydan, Longines and Emaar, we send all the horses and riders and their crews all good wishes for a wonderful Championships.”