30 days to go: The fitting-out of the venues continues
Hotspot for horse racing in Normandy, this venue will play host to Para Dressage from 25 to 29 August and Driving from 4 to 7 September. Technical prowess: 8 to 10,000 tonnes of materials, 100 workers to fit out the site and a 6-week assembly have been necessary for the transformation of the venue, whilst ensuring that the area’s very special character is preserved and its biodiversity protected. An impact study has been carried out by the Observatoire de la Prairie, which for the past 2 years, has been linked with the Organising Committee so as to limit the effect on the site. The track reserved for the racing will also be preserved.
A temporary grandstand comprising 3,000 places (some 3 times larger than the current one) and encircling the competition arena (60x120m) will accommodate the spectators for the Para Dressage and the obstacle driving and dressage phases for the Driving. On Saturday 6 September, the competition venue will extend to the Orne Valley with the cross-country phase and its 16,000 spectators. From 22 August, the 150 stables temporarily installed for occasion will accommodate the Para-Dressage horses, followed by the Driving horses from 31 August. 3 training arenas will also be available to competitors. You need to quickly book your tickets for the Para-Dressage and the cross-country and dressage in the Driving discipline (the obstacle driving phase is fully booked).
After the roof collapsed under the weight of the snow in March 2013, necessitating a year of work by the City of Caen, the keys to the Parc des Expositions were handed over to the Organising Committee on 1 July. As such, it’s a brand new and resolutely modern hall, with its large glass wall and its wood cladding façade, which the department responsible for the fit-out will be working on for the next 2 months to host the Reining events. The horses will occupy the hall from 22 to 31 August, requiring the installation of 3 arenas (95% assembled to date): 1 competition arena measuring 80 x 40m and 1 training arena of 60 x 30m as well as a “entrée de piste”. Competitors will also be able to benefit from the Vaulting arena located at the Zénith venue as a second training zone. About 3,000 places in the grandstands will provide the perfect venue from which to cheer on the athletes and horses during 4 days of competition, from 25 to 30 August, where the atmosphere is sure to be electric! Indeed this discipline is already fully booked! The Parc des Expositions, the Zénith and the Games’ Village span 216 000 square meters in total and 200 persons are actually working on the construction of the zone.
Spanning 110,000 square meters and situated at the very heart of Caen, just a stone’s throw from the Parc des Expositions and the Zénith, the Games’ Village will be the spot for the public to be each day with some 180 hours of programming, entertainment, strolling performers, equestrian and non-equestrian shows. They will be immersed in the atmosphere of a major event, where all the passions and all the nations will be on show, and where all the medal winners will be celebrated on a daily basis. 500 horses will grace the Village’s various stables and pathways as well as the 2 entertainment arenas: the Kids’ Corral for the young audience in the form of an 18m vaulting circuit and the Main Arena measuring 30x60m, which will host up to 1,000 spectators of all ages on its grandstands. The Games’ Village will also feature: about 250 exhibitors, 17,000 square meters of temporary structures which are already 50% complete to date, 5 restaurants of 300 square meters and numerous other spaces for fast-food outlets.
Access to the Village will be free of charge for all those spectators who have a ticket for that day’s sporting competition. For the others, don’t worry: from today on, you can reserve your ticket for the Village at a cost of 5 Euros per day via the ticketing website http://ticket.normandie2014.com/
Opening times: 11am-10pm. Closure on 1 September.
The Alltech Music Festival will offer 8 exceptional concert nights for 10,000 spectators (Kool&the Gang, Aloe Blacc, Louis Bertignac, Joyce Jonathan and Casseurs Flowters among others). 30 hours of live music from 7pm, in the concert zone, in the Games’ Village.
To attend the Alltech Music Festival concerts, it is important to pre-book your concert in advance on the Games’ website. Beware: no access to concerts will be authorized without that specific access credential*
The Versailles of the horse world will play host to the Dressage and Cross-Country of the Eventing competition. The cross-country track, which measures more than 6,500 metres in length (more than 10 minutes of intense physical effort for the horse!) has been in place since July 2013 and was trialled during the Test Events that same year (CCI level**). The course has been designed to provide the greatest possible visibility for the event, both for the public and the television viewers, with an added focus on limiting its environmental impact as far as possible.
The track has since been maintained so as ensure the highest quality during the Games (CCI level****).
Journalists will be able to discover the track on 27 August before the general pubic, who will be permitted to do course walks:
- Thursday 28 August from 1430 to 1930 hours (persons presenting a Dressage ticket for the Eventing dated 28 August
- Thursday 28 August from 1700 to 1930 hours (persons presenting a Cross-Country ticket for the Eventing dated 30 August)
- Friday 29 August from 1430 to 1730 hours (persons presenting a Dressage ticket for the Eventing dated 29 August)
The competition arena fitted-out for the Dressage (60x20m) has been ready since early June, during which time it has accommodated the installation of a 3,200-seater grandstand. On the day of the Cross-Country phase, some 50,000 spectators will be spread out across the course, in the central village and the 3 small villages to witness the 80 or 90 riders setting off on this equestrian triathlon. A general facelift of the venue is also in-process with work on the entrance gate, the Tournebride hotel-restaurant and the driving carriages shed …
The final phase, jumping of Eventing, will take place in the Ornano Stadium arena.
The transformation from the football stadium into an equestrian arena began on 19 May with the protection of the pitch using geotextiles and the assembly of the equestrian footage: 1st layer of grey sand and 2nd layer of equestrian Toubin&Clément technical sand. After 1-month of intensive work, everything was in place for the preliminary events in Dressage and Jumping from 23 to 26 June. As it was the case during the Test Events in 2013 (which involved Eventing, Endurance and Driving), these competitions were not a rehearsal for the event but rather a simulation exercise enabling the Organising Committee to modify its choices, identify any needs, discuss matters with the mission managers and the team leaders of the various federations and test certain points: the quality of the footage, the management of the results, the technology and the volunteers in key posts. Since then the team from the site has spared no effort and is continuing to perfect the setting, which will be first used for the Opening Ceremony.
For the Games’ fortnight, the first horses will arrive on 21 August for the Dressage, followed by the horses for the Jumping on 30 August. The dismantling of the main arena will be completed in 72 hours so as to return the keys to the SM Caen for their league 1 season!
Situated in the Manche area, the town of Sartilly will be the starting point for the Endurance event on Thursday, 28 August.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Bay of Mont Saint Michel will provide a majestic backdrop for this 160 km competition set out in a series of loops.
More information about this venue will be available soon.
Click here for more info about the 2014 Games' competition venues