Text by Guðbjörn H. Jónsson for IPZV e.V.

Photo by Herning Kommune/ Tobias Nørgaard Pedersen

Dear Hestar Event
During the current lockdown in Germany, many Icelandic horse enthusiasts are wondering how does is go on in 2021, what about the entire tournament season in Germany and above all will an Icelandic Horse World Championship 2021 (WC2021) take place in Herning Denmark?
These and many other questions are currently popping up and we want to bring some light into these questions to all Icelandic horse enthusiasts.

– How do you experience the current situation and can you positively look forward to 2021 whilst looking back on 2020?

It is no secret that this year has been hard for event makers… The Covid-19 situation is changing all the time and you can’t really count on anything. We have been sailing on the “Ocean of Uncertainty” during the past half year.

We have, in collaboration with FEIF, been working on different alternatives. One thing is for sure; both FEIF and us at Hestar Event are completely committed to working towards that there WILL be a World Championships for Icelandic horses in Herning in 2021.

And with the news about the vaccines coming soon we can now see light at the end of the tunnel and a normal WC “coming up”. So we are looking at 2021 with great positivity and we are pretty sure that we will celebrate a fantastic World Championship in Herning with super good horses and riders, lots of enthusiastic spectators, shopping streets etc.

– This is not the first World Championship you are organizing! Can you briefly describe to us what phase you are currently in and has the corona situation hindered you to further move on with the organization of the event?

That’s right, 3 of us in the organizing team, Lone Bertelsen, Stine Sandahl and Ole Søgård were involved in the World Championships in 2015 and 2003 in Denmark. We were very well underway when the corona-pandemic started; the tracks had been built, the contracts with Messecenter Herning and e.g. the tribunes, the stables, horseboxes etc were made last year; so all the big contracts etc. are set. We did also sell a lot of tickets at the World Championships in Berlin and we are still selling tickets and campsites at our webshop at www.vmdenmark.com.

So, the work now was more fine adjustments, events, promo and so on. But the past half year we have been pausing things a bit, since the situation was so uncertain. We decided very quickly that our number one priority was that we should refund every ticketholder if the event had to take place without spectators or be cancelled due to Covid-19, so we didn’t want to have any costs before we are certain.

 

– Usually ticket pre-sales would currently be in full swing! What is the current situation compared to the last World Championship in Herning, also regarding the campsites?

Actually very, very good! We have already sold a lot of tickets and a third of all campsites at our webshop www.vmdenmark.com. And almost all the exhibition stands are sold.

 

– The big concern for many World Championship enthusiasts is that if they already book and pay for a ticket now – what happens if the WC2021 has to take place without or only with a limited number of spectators? Will the purchase price for the tickets be refunded? If so, how is the repayment obligation covered?

Should the event be cancelled, or the number of spectators limited due to Covid-19, the amount paid will be refunded less a small amount for administration costs. As we said, our first priority has been to be able to refund tickets, so we have held all costs down so far and are, therefore, able to refund in case of cancellation.

 

– In case the WC2021 only allows a limited number of spectators, will the pre-booked tickets have priority? Will grandstands still be built up? Will the price of the tickets change, as there are different conditions for the event? If so, how is a refund made by you as organizers?

In case of limited numbers of spectators due to Covid-19 restrictions the tickets already booked have first priority and the price will stay the same. In case of refund due to cancellation the tickets will be refunded automatically to the card you used when you bought the ticket. Everybody with a ticket will of course also have a seat on a tribune. The size of the tribune will depend on the maximum number of persons and the requirements issued by the Danish authorities.

 

– Do those rules also apply to the reservation of campsites? Will there also be a reimbursement obligation in case the WC2021 cannot take place because of Corona or only with a limited number of spectators??

Yes, of course 

 

– What is the current state of play regarding the acquisition of exhibitors? Will those who have already booked exhibition space have the possibility to reverse the contracts? How about the World Championships held without spectators or only with a limited number of spectators – will exhibitors be granted different conditions or may exhibitors be able to withdraw from the agreement?

The same goes for the exhibitors – if the event is cancelled or if the Danish authorities have other requirements for the event due to Covid-19, we will reduce the cost for the exhibitors in order to follow the new situation or refund less 10% for administration costs if the event is cancelled. But we are still working on a normal World Championship.

 

– We very much hope that the WC2021 can take place in the usual way. Will there be certain pre-reserved blocks within the stands for the countries?

So do we  ! It will be so much fun and we really miss the partying and seeing all our Icelandic horse-loving friends!  We are one big Icehorse-loving family, so we haven’t divided the blocks into country-sections.

 

– Gunnar Sturluson, FEIF President announced in his speech to the “Landþing Landsambandi Hestamannafélaga” last weekend that the 2021 World Championship will definitely take place. How does the coordination and the cooperation with FEIF work and how frequently do you align?

We are very happy to work with the responsible persons in FEIF and during the past months we had several meetings to discuss the situation and the options. We are looking forward to solving this together and make it a great event.

 

– Finally, what would you like to tell the Icelandic horse and WC2021 enthusiasts in Germany?

Keep up the good spirit, take good care of each other and yourself and let’s defeat Corona. And we are working hard on welcoming you all in Denmark next summer! Until then enjoy your wonderful horses. 

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FACTS:

The World Championships for Icelandic Horses, Denmark, will take place on the premises of Herning Messecenter from August 1-8, 2021.

You can order tickets and reserve your campsite at www.vmdenmark.com

The WC2021 is arranged by Hestar Event in collaboration with FEIF. Hestar Event is operated by Lone Bertelsen, Stine Sandahl, Ole Søgård and Rasmus Møller Jensen, who are also running the huge indoor WRL event Icehorse Festival, www.icehorsefestival.com