World Equestrian Games In Jerez Spain
September 10-22, 2002
By Diana De Rosa
Ortiz, the General Manager of the World Equestrian Games,
which will be taking place in Jerez, Spain, September 10-22,
2002, and César Garcia de Quebedo, the Communications
Manager, have been involved with the Games since its inception.
and the others from Jerez are hoping that this will be the
start of more events to be held at these venues. For them
this is the beginning to the future of horse sports in Spain,
not a culmination once WEG is over.
went to Jerez, Spain to see the venues and to visit with Antonio,
César and others on the WEG staff. Antonio explained his
reasons why the Games are being held in Spain and his ultimate goals.
"We have a good feeling about these Games. I feel the facilities
will be ready in a month or less. We sold a lot of tickets already,
which for us is important because horse sports in Spain are not
the Games have given new enthusiasm to horse sports and many festivities
will take place while the Games are in Jerez. In fact, "The
whole town will be involved," explained Ortiz.
author, Diana de Rosa in the Garden at the eleventh century
Alcazar, a small archeological site - the oldest monument
went on to explain how a lotto was organized just for these
Games and netted $10 million. They've secured five large sponsors
(Rolex, Volvo, Banesto, Telefonica and Osborne) and five small
sponsors (Marca, Hola, Ave, Telefonica, and the Government
of Dubai for endurance) to help with the difference of $23
million that they feel the Games will ultimately cost them,
which does not include the building of the venues, which the
local municipality is paying for. Ticket sales and a trade
fair will make up the difference. (There will be no tickets
for endurance - that will be free to everyone.)
also explained that the goal is "to try and do a World
Championship like it is in other sports. In many places it
is way down and we would like to put the equestrian sport
at the same level as other sports. Finally, I would like to
create a total equestrian family all in one location. It will
be good for the FEI, for the Games, for Jerez and for our
sponsors." To Antonio, that was what these Games were
Security is an underlying issue that seems to prevail over any major
event nowadays and it is something that everyone everywhere is taking
very seriously. WEG is just one more example of an event that is
focusing on increased security issues.
Spanish police are very concerned," noted Ortiz. "We are
working to ensure it is a safe Games. Royalty will be here and everyone
must be checked out. When you have so many important people together
it becomes a security problem. Security will be tough.'
"Jerez is not New York," explained Ortiz. "Everything
is close together."
the time of the Games those with accreditation (officials, journalists,
riders) will be able to ride the public transportation for free.
They will also increase the number of buses and trains. There will
be official transportation such as shuttle buses for the press and
cars to shuttle the officials. The transportation issues have been
carefully scrutinized in hopes of avoiding traffic bottlenecks.
They are also discouraging people from coming with cars.
Chief, Lucia Montanarella indicated that the transportation was
"one of the most difficult aspects of the Games. A good transport
plan is essential."
has a tourist office on Paul Street where you can go to get
information about tourist attractions around town. Among these
are such places as the eighteenth century Alcazar, Tio Pepe's
bodega, La Taberna Flamenca where you can eat traditional
Spanish food and watch flamenco dancing. Feel free to call,
fax or email the tourist office or stop by (email@example.com,
#: 956 34 86 96, Fax. 956 33 17 31).
seven disciplines (show jumping, dressage, eventing, driving, vaulting,
endurance, and reining) will take place at two venues. The main
headquarters will be in Chapin where three different venues will
showcase most of the events, except for the endurance, the obstacle
phase of driving and the cross-country phase of the eventing, which
will take place at Garrapilos.
The indoor arena
The permanent barn where some of the horses will be staying
Chapin 3 where the Reining and Vaulting will be taking place
The Olympic Stadium where the Opening Ceremonies, Show Jumping
and Dressage will take place
de la Calle is the manager of Garrapilos (since June 28, 2001) and
takes his job very seriously. He started working for WEG in 1995
in different jobs. He took over at Garrapilos, when it was obvious
they needed someone who could undertake this major project and complete
it in time for the Games.
Jaime de la Calle on the left and course designer Michael
Tucker.on the right
Photo courtesy of WEG.
one knows what Garrapilos was like two years ago," explained
Ortiz. It's due to Jaime's diligence that the venue is now
heads up the construction of the Garrapilos site, which is
17 kilometers north of Jerez, about a 15 to 20 minute drive.
Jaime works hard and expects the same from his crew of close
to 50 people. They start working at 7:30 a.m. and often work
well into the evening, only taking a short lunch break, despite
the fact that in Spain most people take an afternoon siesta.
Jaime made it clear to his workers when they were hired that
there would be no siestas until the Games are over.
Jaime and his crew are finishing up the last minute things.
"I wanted to finish early so that I could have time to
do the little things," he explained. Jaime and his staff
work closely together.
fact everyone works very closely to finish up the venues in time
for the influx of guests. It's about helping each other, both in
preparation for the Games and during the Games. "That's always
been a WEG concept," explained Lucia. "The bigger disciplines
support the smaller ones."
fact this will be the first time that seven equestrian disciplines
will all be showcased in one place, with the new addition of Reining.
And it will be an event to remember as Jerez readies itself to open
its doors to the world.
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