The European championship in equestrian is held every two years and is constantly a highlight moment of that year for both the competitors and the audience. This time, the com- petitions are being held in Sweden, in Gothenburg city between the 21-27 of August. With four different parts of the equestrian sports, jumping, dressage, driving and para-equestrian dressage, and almost 600 horses, there is a lot of work and a big organization behind it in order to pull it through.
The whole city of Gothenburg will be involved during the week of equestrian sports. The jumping and dressage will be held in Ullevi which is the biggest outdoor arena in Sweden. The driving and para-equestrian dressage is held in Heden, and the driving mara- thon will be held in Slottsskogen city park and throughout the central streets of the city. These areas connects all of the central parts of Gothenburg and helps to incorporate the buzzing city life into the championship. By keeping it as central as possible, more people can get a chance to see the competitions and take part in the events around it. To make it as smooth as possible, a great deal of knowledge and a strong organization is needed considering the amount of people and horses that will arrive. Gothenburg is not completely new on hosting big equestrian-events. Gothenburg horse show has been held annually since 1977 in Scandinavium and is one of the worlds biggest indoors competitions in equestrian sports. The amount of volunteers and knowledge is therefore close, but the scale this time is much larger. Considering some of the logistic challenges such as the traffic in the central parts of Gothenburg and some of the distances between the different areas, there will need to be quite a few changes during the week in the public transportations. Gothenburg is well known for hosting different kinds of events and are used to adjust the regular life in the city for events and arrangements. The basic knowledge from these previous arrangement helps to handle and solve many problems that could arrive for someone who would do it for their first time.
Due to the size of the championship, the work and arrangements behind it have been split between different organizations. The championship is arranged by the Swedish Equestrian Federation together with Göteborg & Co and Gotevent – two organizations owned by the city. The initial budget for the event – which was set on going even – has since been exceeded and might end in losses for Gothenburg city. It might be seen as something bad for Gothenburg and the event, but looking at some of the reasons behind it can give another picture. The extra costs comes amongst other from the current situation in the world which demands more security around the event. With a lot of visitors and competitors with their horses arriving over the week, it is important to make sure that nothing happens during the event. Another big part of the budget is the amount of riders which have grown with both more countries participating and that each rider can bring two, instead of one horse as before. It is great for the sport to develop into new countries and increasing the amount of people getting evolved in it. More competitors also increase the quantity of participants for the audience to watch. Ultimately, of course, this leads to some higher costs for the event that some few extra visitors does not weigh up for. The costs of the tv-production is also a costly part that will help to increase the possibilities for viewers and interested people to follow the events. It is great for the sport, but also lead to a higher cost because of both the size and that it is outdoors and must be working even in bad weather. These different parts
can be hard to budget correctly in hindsight but considering the different pros and cons, they can be changed into something positive for both the event and the city. For the sport it is great, and depending on how Gothenburg incorporate the event into the city, they can also gain from it from positive experiences and people coming back to the city.
The event is being marketed both national and international and is reaching both inside and outside the equestrian world, which is essential in order to get more people to visit the event. The most important thing that decides if the championship will be successful economically is the amount of people that will come to watch the competitions and interact in the different eventing areas. The event can be quite risky since it will be held outdoors and is therefore very dependent on the weather. Since the competitions will continue through a week, there is a big chance that some of the days might have bad weather and scare away some audience. Luckily, since it takes place in the central parts of Gothenburg, audience and visitors can do other things in the city that are safe from the weather. With shoppingcenters like NK and Nordstan, theaters, museums, restaurants and the amusement- park Liseberg, there are countless of opportunities for visitors to amuse themselves even after and in between the competitions.
Considering that equestrian sports are some of the largest sports in the world, the knowledge and media coverage of them are quite low. By involving a large part of Gothenburg city in the championship, the hope is to change this. It is often a problem in equestrian competition to find a new audience and get people to come and watch due to how few other things there are to do around the competitions for the audience. This will not be a problem for the championship in Gothenburg. Even people who does not follow the sports can easily be reached by the closeness to other attractions. The whole city can gain from the visitors of the event, as well as that the event can gain from the people around the city and other closely connected towns.
Only looking at how much the championship on its own will cost and generate in money does not give a right picture of its success, since a lot of the visitors will generate money to the city outside of the event. A lot of the visitors will use the hotels. The amusement park Liseberg is always a must
for visitors often no matter ages. Restaurants will be used and the shopping areas can interest most visitors. By having the championships so central helps to attract people rather than keeping it in a more remote place, like equestrian competitions often are. So if you happen to be visiting
Gothenburg during the 21-27 of August, it might be worth to take a look at the competitions and the events around it.