Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 Venues

The World Equestrian Games 2014 Venues

Having checked out the centre of the WEG 2014 host city Caen in August (click here for previous article), the next step was to visit the equestrian venue locations.

Just to remind you of the venues;

      The D’Ornano Stadium                © F. Decaens CRBN

The D’Ornano Stadium (above): where the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Jumping and Dressage competitions and the Dressage and Jumping phases of the Eventing will be held (the cross country phase will be held at Le Haras du Pin stud about an hour away)

The Exhibition Centre: where the Reining events will be held as well as hosting the Equestrian Village and exhibition areas, restaurants and sideshows and event organisation centre

Zenith Indoor Arena, Caen

The Zenith Indoor Arena (above): venue for the Vaulting, located next to the Exhibition Centre

The Prarie Racecourse:  where the Para Equestrian Dressage and Carriage Driving will be held

Mont-Saint-Michel (Manche): where the Endurance test will be held, partly in the Bay of Mont-Saint- Michel itself

      The Exhibition Centre               © CRBN

All of the venues are already in existence but there are plans to upgrade some of them to provide further facilities. The Exhibition Centre will have major infrastructure work carried out to accommodate the 2014 WEG requirements but the modern Zenith Indoor Arena next to it certainly looks ready for the Vaulting action. We had a tiny peek inside the Exhibition Centre but, as with all of these types of buildings, there isn’t much to see when there is no actual exhibition on and I think the work to be done will make a big difference.

Caen Racecourse

      The Prarie Racecourse                    © F. Decaens- CRBN

What turned out to be the long way around to walk to the Exhibition Centre from the centre of town took about 40 minutes down the very impressive Avenue Albert Sorel which also enabled a quick looks at the Prarie Racecourse from one side. The racecourse, which is very close to town, looks currently like any other (not surprising) but there are plans to work on this space and the surrounding Orne Valley to create a ‘green route’ , making the most of this green area in the heart of urbanisation.

 

The plans for the Marathon phase of the Carriage Driving sound really fun as it will use existing pathways in the Orne Valley as well as passing through some of the streets of Caen’s town centre. Can’t wait to see that – eat your heart out Adelaide!

From the Exhibition Centre and Zenith Arena, it takes about 15 minutes to walk to the main venue, which is currently mainly used as a football stadium, the D’Ornano Stadium, built in 1993 and which currently has a capacity of 21,500 people. Heading from this Stadium back into the centre of town took only fifteen minutes' walk again so is obviously the most direct route as opposed to our ‘scenic route’ earlier.  For those saying ‘what’s with the walking?’ don’t worry, I’m sure, as in Aachen and Jerez, there will be bus transport provided for spectators which worked really well but it does give an idea of how central things are.

       The bay of Mont-Saint-Michel will provide an impressive location for the Endurance     ©Cheval_Plaisir

The only two locations not found in Caen are Mont-Saint-Michel (Endurance) and Haras du Pin (Eventing Cross Country). The 160 km long Endurance competition, will wind through trails in the Manche area and conclude in the bay of Mont-Saint- Michel. An hour and a half south west of Caen, there could not be a more stunning venue (as long as the tide is out!) and I think there will be a much larger than average audience for this discipline in 2014.

We’ll take a look at the cross country at Haras du Pin, where we attended the Le Grand Complet CCI 3* this year, in the next article