This year, the World Equestrian Show set decisive impulses for the entire market. With more than 600 exhibitors and 112,000 visitors, it proved in seven days that it is indispensable for the market both nationally and internationally.
People and brands, innovations and ideas, sport and show have made Equitana 2023 the decisive meeting place for the industry. "EQUITANA has once again brought together all that equestrian sports currently have to offer. The response was excellent - both from exhibitors and visitors", says Equitana Director Christina Uetz. More than 600 exhibitors used the fair to present their new products, cultivate contacts and expand their customer base. "Equitana is the clock for us to present our new vehicles to customers and international partners. This is the only place where we give an overview of our entire product range, because it is the only event that shows all brands side by side and creates an industry status," emphasised Justus Böckmann from Böckmann Fahrzeugwerke.
The Equitana marketplace is also indispensable for Alexander Maier from the Laake company. "In Essen, we meet the customers who build high-quality stable facilities nationally and internationally. We will be back in two years much bigger, because we need more space to be able to give really good advice to the many interested parties," said the Sales Manager. The visit is a source of inspiration for William Blejs from Belgium. "It is the biggest fair where all manufacturers come together. Modern methods de hay feeding have particularly inspired us here."
This response shows the importance of trade fairs for the market and the economic development of the industry, commented Barbara Leithner, COO of the organiser RX Austria & Germany, on the successful outcome of Equitana 2023. "As an internationally renowned platform, we bring people together and create the basis for expanding existing business relationships and forging new ones. At the same time, we are a showcase for ideas and future topics such as sustainability and digitalisation."
The premiere of the Sustainability Village at Equitana clearly showed that the topic is also gaining relevance in equestrian sport. "The interest is very, very great. Creating an awareness of this is especially important in equestrian sport, because a lot of textiles and leather are used there. That is why we attach importance to local products, short supply chains and a good C02 balance," said Jessica Thees from the company Hoofment on behalf of the companies in this special area, which is set to grow even further in the future.
Multifaceted equestrian sport
Meeting inspiring people who all share the same passion - that is Equitana for Olympic eventing champion Ingrid Klimke. "One day has not been enough for a long time, I am now at three days and three evenings. I use the time to make contacts with partners, fans and interesting horse people. Sometimes it even leads to friendships, like with Lisa Röckener. Afterwards, when I've been here, I'm up to date on what's going on in the industry and what innovative products are out there. This time I took a closer look at solariums and safety waistcoats in particular."
Experiencing the diversity of equestrian sport at close quarters is something that particularly excites Uta Gräf. "Being able to follow all facets of the different riding styles across disciplines is unique. And I never miss the Hop Top Show," emphasised the Gand Prix rider and renowned trainer. All three show evenings were almost sold out this year, the audience was thrilled by the pictures in Mosaique. And rightly so, was Markus Döring's verdict. For the Co-Federal Coach Jumping, the show is a must. "I enjoy it together with my son." In the daily programme he is inspired by novelties and innovative training methods. "There I always take a lot away for myself as well, because the whole world of equestrian sport meets here. It is one of the most beautiful events for years."
Horse as an educational factor
Equitana 2023 has once again made it clear how great and fascinating the love of horses is. "Above all, good riding, the harmonious and fair handling of the horse - on the ground, in the saddle or on the reins - is highly appreciated. The horse has long since ceased to be just an economic factor. Rather, the horse today makes an important contribution to society, among other things as an educational factor that teaches responsibility, discipline, consideration and empathy," said Soenke Lauterbach, Secretary General of the German Equestrian Federation (FN).
Participant and influencer Jesse Drent describes his special Equitana moments like this: "Not everything has to be perfect that I show with my horses in the ring. People especially want to see how I handle it when things don't work out that way." There is nothing like it, he says, and the show is his home during this time. "I just escape my normal world for a week," the Dutchman reported.
Inspiring meeting place
For the IPZV, the fair is a meeting point for exchange and maintaining contacts. "As an association, we want to be more present at Equitana again in the future, because the Icelandic horses are simply part of this fair and as far as the external effect is concerned, this is a unique opportunity for us." Bianca Stollwerk from the Gerhardshof riding school in the district of Ahrweiler has also been able to expand her clientele. "Many people even from our region did not know us yet. At the same time, we also look at what others are doing. The hobby of horsing, for example, has awakened completely new ideas in us about what else we can do with our holiday children."
With her own products, Lena Henrich wants to improve the world of riders and horses. The idea of customising bridles via a configurator and photos of the horse's head won the jury the Innovation Award in the category Clothing, Equipment, Training Material. "This is an important marketing tool for us and the prize has already increased demand here," reported Bridlery's project manager. So far, the company was mainly present on social media and in online trade. "But we also want to reach customers beyond that and advise them on our product. Equitana is the crucial platform for this."
Direct customer contact
Which product of the new collection sells better with customer contact than online - that is decisive for Christoph Merz, the commercial director of Spooks. The high visitor frequency in the core target group also makes the fair indispensable for him. "Unlike at a tournament, people come here to shop and we get immediate feedback on our range." The unique selection excited Estariel Chingel, among others. "You can't find this anywhere else. I'm looking for equipment for me and my horse and I'm looking forward to good fair prices," the Dutchwoman told us.
The versatile range is also crucial for Laura Goetsch from Stübben's marketing department. "There is no other place where so many riding styles, interests and suppliers come together. We want to be close to the customer and use the opportunity to show products like our new Rev saddle for the first time."
A yardstick for the industry, an indispensable networking meeting and a mirror for what moves customers, that is what Equitana is for Thomas Berger. "Feeding is a megatrend. We are well established there, want to be a contact partner and the fair is ideal for this. Compared to last year, we have doubled our presence here and it has paid off," emphasised the authorised signatory of Agrobs.
Getting in direct contact with decision-makers in the industry is particularly important for Michael Heidtmann, the technical manager of KR Maschinen. "With sweepers and hoofbeat levellers, we have the equipment that riding facility operators need. Here they can touch everything, we explain the different functions and have countless technical discussions." Jens von Erden, inventor of a hay steamer for round bales, also takes advantage of this opportunity. "The fair is one of the few occasions where the international equestrian community comes together in one place and which combines all aspects of the same passion. This makes it the address to make contacts and explain our product." He expects an additional boost from winning the Innovation Award. "It shows that we have hit the spirit of the times and ensures corresponding awareness."
There is no alternative to Equitana for Roland Hau, Managing Director of the stable construction company of the same name. "Nowhere else do all the capital goods of the industry present themselves in one place." The range and catchment area also make Equitana attractive to the Hat Active Stable concept. "There are a lot of customers here in particular, plus other European countries, and this is a particularly good fit for us," emphasised Vivian Schöne from the field sales team.
The next Equitana will take place in 2025.