This week, I had the chance to attend the Jumping Mechelen 2016 thanks to Longines, one of the sponsors of this edition. Since I didn't have much time, I only could go on Thursday but I was happy anyway. The Jumping Mechelen is probably the biggest competition in Belgium and is attended by both national and international riders.
First we drove to the Planckendael parking 1 (8€ to leave your car there...Super Expensive) then a shuttle drove us to the Expo where the jumping took place and back until 2:30AM. Getting into the complex went smoothly and I got my stamp JM4 :)
I used to be a horse addict until I entered Uni and focused 200% on studies. By the time I graduated, I was already hired and that was the complete end of my horseriding days. Needless to say that after spending an entire day surrounded by horses and witnessing various disciplines, I missed horses terribly!
The programme of Thursday was quite diverse with jumpings (both horses and ponies), vaulting, driving and the Queen's Cup. There was no time to get bored and lots of excitement, plus during lunch there was plenty of time to visit the stands and see how equipment has changed since my time. Speaking of lunch, there was some choice with sushis, the brandwurst and hamburgers, but also a mini restaurant serving belgian food.
Surprisingly, there weren't too many visitors and it was actually easy to wander around or get close to the action. However, I didn't have my camera with me (the screen is fully green...) so I tried to take pictures with my phone but the result wasn't great...But there are some really nice shots on the website of Jumping Mechelen, summarising perfectly my day! (shots below from www.Jumping-Mechelen.com)
I believe my favourite part was the pony jumping, they're so cute and temperamental plus I really like to see young riders in action. There is some potential in there I can tell you! I also loved to see how the equipment has evolved, it went from casual to classy and especially the boots and riding hat. A lot of work has been put into making these a lot sexier and fitting, including strass and lace.
All in all, it was a well-spent day and I really would like to ride again some day...I just need to find a school not too far away to catch up!