EQUITA: Equestrian Fest Among the Rhône-Alpes
EQUITA, an international equestrian expo, was held in Lyon on 1-5 November 2017. SUISSEPIC was inspired by the beauty of horses and decided to spend a weekend at the show.
EQUITA is a huge event in the equestrian industry. It was held at the 130,000 sq meter grounds of the Euroexpo park. It has been held in Lyon for 20 years, since 1994. It covers everything in the equestrian world: from the truck industry and clothing to the fantastic Showjumping and Dressage competitions, which attract the best riders from all over the world, including Germany, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain etc. The number of exhibitors was also large, with 780 companies and 3,500 horses participating.
I visited Lyon for the first time and it took me some time to have a look around and reach my final destination. First of all I would say that Lyon is wonderful and the autumn here is amazing. It is like Paris but smaller and not as flat, being surrounded by alpine hills. But in the end you get everything: a whispering warm wind, yellow leaves falling from the trees, the flowing river, the grand cathedral like Notre-Dame, and even the Tower of Fourvière (a smaller relative of the Eiffel Tower).
To reach Euroexpo from Part Dieu station, you have to use 2 types of public transport: the T3 tram and the number 100 bus line. The journey will take you approximately 40 minutes.
When I entered the exhibition hall I realized how much effort the organizers must have made to present everything in such a wonderful form. The whole Expo was split into zones, relevant to specific topics: equestrian travel, stallion’s show, raining, clothing, leather goods, and sporting arenas. There were cafes and bistros everywhere and the food there was specifically related to the zone’s theme. You could find fast-food as well as national cuisines such as Belgian or French, American and even Swiss raclette. Miam-miam and total enjoyment!
The most spectacular zone was, of course, the central arena where the world’s best showed their prowess in showjumping. Among them were Simon Delestre (FR), Steve Guerdat (SUI), and Michael Whitaker (GB). Entry to the main arena was possible for those who had a special ticket, however the training area was surrounded by families with kids. Here everything was on courage! Once a rider performed a jump, the crowd took a breath with a highly emotional “A-a-ah!”. For sure it was the best place for partners to showcase their skills. The luxurious Swiss watch manufacturer Longines and the French luxury goods brand Hermes were located right there, with Hermes proudly presenting their best saddles. At the Longines showcase, everybody could find appropriate watches. The prices started from 1,500 euros.
The crowds were slowly moving to the tribunes when a loud voice announced the beginning of the World Cup: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are happy to see you at the Longines Grand Prix in Lyon”. In a moment all the tribunes were full, as well as the VIP-section. The joy of the French victory taken by Simon Delestre was in the air.
Equestrian sport receives a huge amount of attention in Europe. A lot of kids wearing equestrian clothing and boots came here with their families. All of them try to talk with horses, touch them and learn equestrian culture as much as they can. And this is a real equestrian fest!