Under the magnifying glass

It is said that the corona pandemic acts like a burning glass, as it shows the weak points of a system, causes us to rethink old structures and accelerates innovations. Perhaps this also applies to the “show scene”? Here, on the one hand, “typical” ECAHO shows were canceled on a large scale, and on the other hand, “alternative shows” were popular despite Corona because people are hungry for encounters, for exchanging ideas, and for the community.
Sure, some of the events had to be canceled due to the respective Corona requirements in the countries concerned. But in other cases, the financial risk was too big. That is understandable, no question about it, but what exactly is driving the costs – and therefore the risk – up? It is our demands and expectations of these shows, which in the upper categories have developed into an extravagant meeting place for the rich and beautiful, into an entertainment event with light & sound shows and a few horses as an “accessory”! But if the rich and famous are no longer eager to, or are allowed to travel, then the actual “purpose” no longer applies. Then shows will only be held for a few top trainers so that this guild does not die out. And it was precisely these trainers who put pressure on the organizers and ECAHO so that the big shows, such as the European Championships, would not be canceled. Maybe that’s what the Corona burning glass wants to show us: Back to the basics, to have outdoor shows, shows for breeders and owners (and not for the trainers), and away from the “uniformity” of the pure ECAHO show towards a versatile Arab festival. The Corona lens also shows, that the one-sided specialization in “show training” is a dead-end for the trainers, and diversification, for example, the additional offer of riding training, would mean a second pillar and a completely different clientele, which makes a company more crisis-proof.
And then the Corona burning glass also shows us where, thanks to the right innovations, things went better this year than in the other years – and that was the Arab Festival in Stadl Paura. This Arab festival has existed for several years, but I didn’t know it as big, colorful, and varied as this year. The innovations that distinguish this event from others are not inventions of this year, they have been continuously built up and expanded over the last few years. And now, in the Corona year, they are paying off: The Arab Festival had more horses and starts than ever before!
The Arab horse under the saddle is becoming increasingly “socially acceptable”: Where previously a ridden Arab was just a gap filler, riding classes are now offered. Those who, as a show organizer, only rely on the “typical ECAHO show” today, watch after the departing train.
Gudrun Waiditschka