08. Sep 2019
Due to Americana, every two years Augsburg becomes Europe's capital of Western lifestyle and westernriding as well as the Mecca of international Western riders. This year, 52,700 visitors came to the Augsburg exhibition centre to feel and enjoy the unique event with a mixture of top sport, information and entertainment. This was a new record!
"It's simply a great public fair," enthused AFAG Managing Director Henning Könicke about the somewhat different fair. "Thilo Könicke, AFAG's other Managing Director, said: "Americana is something very special for us. We're on fire for the fair anyway. But here we do not only offer the network and the touching of goods, we also transport atmosphere, even lifestyle."
As hall 2 is under construction at the moment, „I cannot speak of the biggest Americana this time,“ says project manager Karlheinz Knöbl. „The reconstruction is very demanding, but we reached almost the same level as in 2017.“ Here are some figures: 327 exhibitors from 14 countries, 600 horses, 350 riders from 19 countries, 1,500 bales of straw, 650 cattle,1,350 metres of panels and 5,300 squaremetres of riding area – and not to forget: a purse of EUR 160,000.
"Here in Augsburg the Western family of Europe comes together, and Augsburg becomes the capital of western lifestyle," says Knöbl, "and in two years' time I will certainly be able to speak of the greatest Americana of all time.” The importance of Americana was also underlined by Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann, Augsburg's Mayor Eva Weber, and US Consul General Meghan Gregonis, who declared Americana the "largest ranch in Germany". "The biggest export hit is the American lifestyle. The fascination of the Wild West can be felt especially in Germany," said Gregonis.
Americana is reaching more and more visitors from over 300 kilometers away. "Some of the evening shows have been sold out for months, and advance ticket sales have never been as good as this year," says project manager Karlheinz Knöbl. Americana's range had also grown once again in terms of breadth. The project manager: "Never before have we had as many exhibitors on the subject of stable logistics.” Visitors were able to see and buy everything from hats and boots to complete stables.
„We are very happy about this AMERICANA, and what is even more important; our riders are happy. We have got a lot of positive feedback about the footing and the service for the horses,” said Sport Managers Sandra Quade and Joachim Bochmann. „This is very important for us. We saw great rides. The evening events on Wednesday and Thursday were well accepted – as were the new discipline Ranch Speed Trail and Ranch Riding Non Pro. Entries increased in some classes by up to 60 percent. Altogether, Americana was once more Great Horses, Great Riders, Great Fun.“
At no other trade fair in Europe do Western riders find such a comprehensive range of products and services for sport and horse management. Whether saddles, bridles and bits, clothing for sport and leisure, or stable accessories, lodging and trailers - here the horse lover will find everything his heart desires. In addition, the large breeding and training stables presented themselves with their own stands. This is also where those who are looking for a trainer, a new horse or a stud jump for their mare will find what they are looking for. Of course, the large associations were also present and offered some interesting conditions for new members.
Americana is also a unique information platform for Western riding and horse management. During the five days expert knowledge is conveyed. Whether it’s about feeding, starting horses veterinary medicine - in the Americana forum the visitors were competently informed and advised. In addition to the classic riding and horse articles, there were also topics such as health, riding tourism and horse & dog. A children's programme complemented the range of products on offer.
The stand of Diana and John Royer was certainly a special highlight of the fair: they offer something unusual and smart from Texas. Stylish pieces of furniture such as a kitchen block with extendable stools, for example in the typical cowboy look. Or a very inviting counter with matching chairs in front. "We flew all the way to Dallas and looked for and found certain things. We had a lot of fun shopping," says Diana Royer. Also the decorative things convinced with their whistle and as a fancy piece of jewellery: For example the armadillo as toilet paper roll holder as well as the cowboy boots either as schnapps glass or as pen cups.
Americana is also always the place where you can discover new and interesting things at the fair. At "Gomeier`s World Of Saddles", jeans were a big hit. Nici Gomeier: "Especially two models are in demand. For example the "Miss Me" and the especially comfortable "Rock`n Roll" with a higher hip cut. But also the halters and the Five Star pads go away like bread rolls." Her impression is that the trend back to colourful equipment and clothing is clearly recognizable.
A special stand and a must for the insiders of Americana is the sauce stand of American Heritage. Two bestsellers are crystallizing this year: the Garlic Rosemary Citrus Sauce for white meat and the Maple Chipotle Grille Sauce for steaks. New to the range are hot sauces from more hot to "really hot" hot. The Augsburg company imports all sauces from the USA.
Old Sorrel Western Sports Apparel is once again the outfitter for the Americana helper team. The sweatshirt jackets and caps are proudly worn by the helpers. Of course, Americana jackets in a different design were available for visitors at the stand. And not only that: equipment bags for the tournament box, sweat blankets and traditionally a wide selection of jackets. This year the colours berry and petrol are particularly in demand.
"Cowboy Headquarters" brought new boots from the USA especially for Americana. The special design with the openings on the shaft side is immediately noticeable. At this stand glitter is very much in demand ("glitter always works"), although otherwise the natural colours are more likely to go over the counter.
Of course, innovations also find direct practical application in Americana. For example, the mobile automatic waterers in the horse stalls. They make it easier for the riders, as they no longer have to carry water bucket by water bucket. "This is just one example of how important the well-being of the horses is to us," said the two sports directors Sandra Quade and Joachim Bochmann unanimously. “another example was the second warm up arena. So riders of different disciplines could prepare for their classes.”
"We have grown significantly in the sporting field," said Bochmann, who cited two examples: "This year we have around 60 percent more starters in the Cow Horse as well as in the Ranch Riding. In addition, some competitions such as the Ranch Horse Speed Trail or the ERCHA Box-Drive-Box took place for the first time. Participants especially liked the possibility of entering their horses online – even via cell phone. And riders praised the good quality of ground and the preparation for the various disciplines.”
The legendary trainer Bobby Ingersoll who was one of the founders of the modern cowhorse industry, judged the show together with Allen Mitchels (USA), Eugenio Latorre (Italy), Janette Dublin (USA), Manuela Maiocchi (Italy), Laura Faris (Italy), Maik Bartmann (GER) and Monika Aeckerle (GER).
Ann Fonck had qualified three horses for the final. The NRHA Million Dollar rider from Belgium won the Trophy with Gunners Specialolena (Gunners Special Nite x Dolly Jac Olena). The 5-year-old mare bred by Luigi Parise was the youngest horse in the field. The mare presented herself fresh with outstanding turns, finest speed control and finally three Mega Stops - the judge's verdict: 228!
"This mare has a fantastic mind! Gunners Specialolena listened to me incredibly well, and I am overjoyed how all three horses left," beamed Ann Fonck. "All three horses were great, but Gunner's Specialolena was the freshest horse with her five years, while the other two were more aware of the long days at the fair.”
FEI European Champion Grischa Ludwig placed second aboard Coeurs Little Tyke (Coeur D Wright Stuff x Shine My Gun) for owner Hans Georg Holzwarth scoring a 225 and also rode Nu Chexomatic to third place for owner Jacpoint QH (224.5). With this gelding, Ludwig had been Bronze Trophy Open Reserv Champion at Americana 2017. „I am so happy,“ said Grischa. „Both horses were great, and I am in the money twice. Form e, Americana is one of the best shows in the world.”
Joschka Werdermann won the European Champion title in the Ranch Riding Open aboard the 8-year-old black Criollo stallion La Esperanza Santoro (owner Jürgen Meier) with a fantastic ride scoring a 232. That was Ranch Riding as it should be! Werdermann had already been leading after the go round with his mare Rock Me Graygun whom he rode to 5th place in the final as well. Reserve Champion was Evelyn Honegger from Switzerland with her 16-year-old mare Step N Whiz (Hes A Steppin Jac x Lots More Sugar). Both achieved a 226.5.
The final of the EUR 12.000-added European Championship Open was decided by Federico Fanti aboard the 8-year-old mare Highbrowcd Is Playin. This show was NCHA and NCHA of Europe approved. As the second starter of the 11-member finalist field, the 31-year-old Italian and the Highbrow CD-daughter, owned by Hansruedi Baumann, showed cutting at its finest and came out of the arena with a 150. Fanti was already 2nd in NCHA European Open Ranking with the mare before the AMERICANA. Here in Augsburg he was third with her in the Masters Cutting Open and was already 3rd in the Go round.
"It's unbelievable how that went down," Fanti said for whom this was the second AMERICANA. "I had two good runs and everything worked out. But I was also lucky because the cattle were anything but easy.” Fanti had two horses in the final and rode his second horse Metallic D Nero to fifth place scoring a 143.5.
With a score of 147, Gildo Minichiello became Reserve European Champion aboard the 5-year-old mare Zen And Tonic (Highbrow CD x Dual Citizen) owned by Imre Katona. The mare, bred by Greg Coalson, was 2017 NCHA Futurity Co-Champion Limited Non Pro and 2018 Derby Non Pro Champion at Abilene Spectacular. According to EquiStat, she has already won over $95,000.
On 3rd place followed Dutch rider Santino Hagenbeck aboard Lea Hirschauer's 13-year-old mare Freckled Lil Indian with a 145. Hagenbeck also rode Whats Up Doc Boon to 8th place in the final (139).
Fourth was with a 144 Tim van Ewijk on Love A Cat Fight (144). The sixth place went to Denis Pini on Stop Ur Hot (143), followed by Pietro Valeri on Cat Rey Lou (142). The big unlucky ones of this final were Ute Holm with One Smooth Time, Karel Spacil with Rumer Haz It and defending champion Martina Annovazzi on Highbrow Time. Ute Holm had a really good start with her stallion at first, but then a misunderstanding with her horse shortly before the end, so that she was only ninth with a 131. The Czech Karel Spacil misjudged himself in the selection of his cattle and lost the last one, so that it remained only at 122. And Martina Annovazzi, who had been leading after the go round, had a complete misunderstanding between herself and her horse right at the start, which meant 0 score.
The ERCHA Nations Cup was won by Italy again. The team with Alessandro Coppari, Ricky Bordignon, Samuele Poli Barberis and Markus Schöpfer had a composite score of 1971. Switzerland was second with Christoph Seiler, Shirley Schalcher, Eliane Gfeller and Antoine Cloux. Earning a total of 1924.5 points. Team Germany (Joschka Werdermann, Martin Schemuth, Patrick Sattler and Philipp Haug) placed third (1899.5) with Joschka Werdermann and Rock Me Graygun setting highscore 223 in the cowhorse.
After the go rounds of the ERCHA Cow Horse Futurity, leading Markus Schöpfer and Giovanni Campanaro were only one point apart. Markus Schöpfer risked it all aboard Oh Cay MC and highscored 219 which was a composite score of 847.5. The Reserve Futurity Championship was claimed by Giovanni Campanaro and Cute Little Tassa who scored a 218.5 in Fencework which added to a total of 869.5. Davide Di Giacinto and Two Timing Cat with a composite score of 858.5. Alessandro Coppari and Bar Baby Stylish (216 / 854,5) placed fourth with Giovannni Campanaro aboard VQH Smart Sara (196 / 852,5), Pietro Tuberga aboard MR Cody O Lena (204,5 / 846), Davide Di Giacinto aboard Dual Ogrady (212 / 837,5), Christoph Seiler aboard Chex Lectric Guns (210 / 836,5), Sven Oser aboard Candy Frezz Good and Samuele Poli Barbersis aboard Millenium Boompepp following.
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Sandra Quade / Joachim Bochmann
AMERICANA Sport & Show Management
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Press Officer of AFAG
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