Test Event Feedback

Numerous people took part in the three test events in August 2013: the riders and the pacesetters, of course, but also the Normandy 2014 Organising Committee, the discipline managers, the French Equestrian Federation (FFE), the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), journalists, volunteers, etc. We take a look at what they thought of these events. 

Test Event Feedback
© Attelage Magazine - François Durand

Vittoria Panizzon, winner of the Eventing on Merlots Magic :

I’m really delighted. I had never been to Le Pin National Stud before and I really liked the setting as well as the course. I’m sure that the Games will be watched by many people next year. And if we can benefit from the same support and the same atmosphere as last year at the London Olympics, it will be fantastic.

Chester Weber, winner of the Driving :

I was really impressed by the competition venue. There is nothing better than bringing sport to the people, so I’m really happy that the event took place here, in the centre of Caen.  I was very impressed with the surface too. I still think that there are a few details to sort out with regard to the surface for the dressage and the cones, but I liked the sand surface a lot. You can tell that the organisers have worked really hard on it.

Jean-Marc Varillon, manager of the Eventing discipline :

The review is positive on the whole: the cross-country course is excellent, the new timing technology works well, the convoy that took the horses from Le Pin National Stud to Caen went smoothly, the members of the Organising Committee and the volunteers worked well together... There are still a lot of things to do in preparation for 2014, but we’re confident.

Nicolas Wahlen, manager of the Endurance discipline :

The hardest thing is done: the route has been approved by the majority of the riders. Nevertheless, the 4 loops ridden in 2013, plus the new loop for 2014, still need to be improved so that the surface is better quality. The race went smoothly thanks to the new timing and pulse-taking technology, as well as the competent and well-respected judges. I would like to thank the competitors, who all got on board with the idea of a more eco-friendly race.

Jean-Pierre Brisou, manager of the Driving discipline :

The aim was to test the teams, and to see if the tactical decisions we have been taking for the last 2 years were correct by organising a “full-scale” event. We decided to use a special sand surface, and we got great feedback from the National Federations and pacesetters, most notably Chester Weber, who said that it might even represent the future of the discipline. It’s a good omen for next year!

Fabien Grobon, Chairman of the Normandy 2014 Organising Committee :

We come out of these test events with plenty of information for the Organising Committee to use. The different sporting aspects were tested, as well as the organisational plan and several fundamental technical choices. We still have a lot of work to do, but we are clearly on the right track.

Tim Hadaway, FEI Director of Games & Championships :

The test events were a great success on many levels, and this was all thanks to careful preparation - it is now clear what exactly needs to be done in the run up to next year. There are many different elements involved in organising events on this scale - this is a team effort, and everyone is pulling together to make this the best World Equestrian Games.

Ingmar de Vos, FEI Secretary General :

Test events are absolutely vital to the successful running of the World Equestrian Games. Thanks to the Organising Committee, and the scores of volunteers who helped on the ground at the test events for Eventing, Driving and Endurance, the feedback from the different stakeholders has been very positive, and we are now looking forward to a major showcase of equestrian sport in 2014 in the heart of Normandy.

Pascal Dubois, FFE National Technical Director :

The test events were very successful on the whole. The quality of the surfaces won unanimous support, and the logistical organisation of these 3 test events perfectly fulfilled the requirements of top-level sport. It was important that the foreign federations recognised all of the work that has been done, a year before the Games start. Everyone is going home confident that the event will be a success. Some great sport is in store in 2014!

Media : Horse Junkie United

If the 2014 Games go as smoothly as the test should buy your tickets now!  I thought that everything was very well organised: the teams were very friendly, the atmosphere was relaxed, the Le Pin National Stud competition venue is magnificent, there are lots of smiling volunteers, signs everywhere... They had warned the media that there would be limited facilities available this year… but there was a tent, tables, chairs, Internet, 2 people to look after the journalists, printed documentation (results, schedule, map of the sites, etc.), coffee … much more than I expected! Judging by what I saw during this event, the 2014 Games will be really fantastic !


Stéphanie Martin-Chêne : It was just amazing to experience the event from the inside. Pure delight!

Magali Bocher : The organisers and the volunteers sweated blood and tears to ensure that the 2013 test events went smoothly, in order to prepare for the 2014 events as efficiently as possible. We’re looking forward to 2014 so that we can meet up with the new friends we made during these test events !

Key figures of the preparatory events:

•3 disciplines
•7 medal events
•50 journalists
•72 members of the Organizing Committee
•119 riders and drivers
•167 horses
•194 boxes
•392 walkie talkies
•650 volunteers
•3600 accreditations

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