Pre-Olympic starting fields, world ranking show jumping and Portuguese flair in Hagen

Pre-Olympic starting fields, world ranking show jumping and Portuguese flair in Hagen

(Hagen a.T.W.) Anticipation is high as the line-up for ‘Horses & Dreams meets Portugal’ has been finalised. Athletes from 28 nations will be competing for victory in 23 international and 13 national jumping and dressage competitions at Hof Kasselmann in Hagen am Teutoburger Wald from 24 to 28 April. What makes this edition of the well-known equestrian festival particularly appealing is the high quality of the entries. 

“See where you stand!”

Anyone who feared that the very top class would not be coming to Hagen in an Olympic year will be taught otherwise: Among others, the number nine in the world rankings, Richard Vogel, and the second best German in the rankings, Christian Kukuk, have announced their attendance at the start of the outdoor season. Ludger Beerbaum, Katrin Eckermann, Sophie Hinners, Marco Kutscher, Mario Stevens, Andre Thieme and David Will, among many others, complete the list of top German riders. They will face international competition from the likes of Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE), Wilma Hellström (SWE), Eiken Sato (JPN), Robert Whitaker (GBR), Marc Houtzagers (NED) and Alexa Stais (CPY). The show jumpers have the chance to collect points for the world rankings in five competitions. The sporting programme and the schedule have been optimised with the involvement of top riders such as Jan Wernke and Philip Rüping. The three-star tour is complemented by two-star and one-star competitions, an international youngster tour and the first qualification for Germany’s U25 Show Jumping Cup. “See where you stand, how far you’ve come and what you still need to work on!” – is how 2022 German champion Mario Stevens characterises his start in Hagen. ” A show with five World Ranking show jumping competitions is very rare these days and it is very important that these events continue for young people and horses. Horses and riders have to find their way through these competitions in order to be able to ride a championship or Nations Cup later on. Hagen is the first event at the start of the season where the national coach can get an idea of how to equip these teams.” 

Mini-Paris in the dressage arena

The dressage is just as high-calibre, especially in the CDI4* Tour, which is divided into Grand Prix Freestyle and Special. The British will be competing with two of their best medal contenders, Charlotte Dujardin and Imhotep and Carl Hester and Fame. They will have to compete against the German squad riders Isabell Werth, Ingrid Klimke, Frederic Wandres, Semmieke and Sönke Rothenberger. Four riders from the current top ten in the world rankings will piaffe into the Hagen dressage arena and promise an unforgettable sporting experience. “The timing is perfect to continue the European season here after Wellington and to be able to present the right calling card,” says Frederic Wandres from Hagen, currently ranked seventh in the world rankings and in the Olympic squad for Germany.  

“Especially in dressage, we already have a small pre-Olympics,” show director Francois Kasselmann emphasised the high-calibre field of entries. “This confirms the importance of Horses & Dreams. We even welcome athletes from Saudi Arabia and the USA here.” Paris also has an influence on a change of location: the CDI4* Grand Prix Special, Prize of MEGGLE Group GmbH, will move into the jumping stadium on Sunday morning for the first time. “This was something that the national coach Monica Theodorescu requested, as the medals in the team competition in Paris are decided by the Special. That’s why we moved the competition to the main stadium.” 

First Test for Team Portugal 

After Portugal was able to secure a team place for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris at the last minute, there is a lot at stake for the Portuguese dressage riders this season. A first test of strength for the potential team for Paris appears to be taking place in Hagen: With Maria Caetano, Rita Ralao Duarte, João Pedro Moreira, António Do Vale, Nuno Avelar, Sebastião Lucas Lopes and Nuno Miguel Silva, a strong Portuguese contingent has entered the three- and four-star tour. “It’s important for our trainers and our federation to see all the riders here together. For us, coming here is already a test for Paris. If you’re thinking about competing in a championship, you have to ride well in Hagen first. I will give 100%,” added Grand Prix rider António Do Vale, who has lived in Lastrup for years and for whom Horses & Dreams was one of his first international competitions in Germany. His family – the Do Vales have five children – also enjoy coming to Hof Kasselmann, he says. “Hagen is not just a show for us, we also have a lot of fun here as a family!” 

Working Equitation and foal auction celebrate premiere

Participants and visitors can expect a Portuguese village with presentations by the Cavalo Lusitano e.V. breeding association and 105 other exhibitors from the equestrian, home, lifestyle and culinary sectors. The Working Equitation performances will even bring a third discipline to the event venue on the Borgberg. Six international stars of this popular sport, which is based on elements of classical dressage and traditional work riding from Portugal and other southern European nations, will perform alongside show star Lisa Röckener in the show on Saturday evening. The first Oldenburg Elite Foal Auction at Horses & Dreams will also celebrate its premiere on Friday 26 April at 8.30 pm. Organiser Ulli Kasselmann sums up: “We hope to present the show the way we and the spectators want it – with good sport and ‘Welfare of the Horse’. This also includes putting the horse even more centre stage in the long term.” 

Admission tickets and VIP tickets for “Horses & Dreams meets Portugal” are available in advance on Ticketmaster. Be there and experience five days full of excitement, emotion and first-class equestrian sport at Hof Kasselmann. Further information about the event and ticket sales can be found at

Hof Kasselmann founds “Horses & Dreams – The Club” as an innovative entrepreneurial network

Another first was announced yesterday in Hagen: Hof Kasselmann has often extended its commitment beyond the boundaries of equestrian sport and contributed to the discussion and development of ideas as a think tank and meeting place. A new initiative that is personally close to Ulli Kasselmann’s heart is the founding of “Horses & Dreams – The Club” in collaboration with marketing strategist Andreas Busemann. The club offers partners from the business world unique opportunities for networking and exchanging ideas as well as organising customer relations and employee motivation at the highest level. The club’s particular concerns are the promotion of Welthungerhilfe’s “Riding against Hunger” initiative and the support of therapeutic riding at Hof Spiegelburg. A total of 10 per cent of all proceeds are donated to this cause.

Membership of “Horses & Dreams – The Club” is possible from an annual membership fee of 3,000 euros. Members benefit from a wide range of advantages, including business speed dating events, presentations by business and political representatives, networking evenings at Hof Kasselmann and, in particular, the many contacts of the founding fathers Ulli Kasselmann and Andreas Busemann. Interested companies are welcome to join the exclusive business network and benefit from the many opportunities offered by “Horses & Dreams – The Club”. The first chance to do so will be at the official launch of the club, which will take place in style on 24 April from 17:00 in the Yellow Salon at Hof Kasselmann.


Photo: From l-r, Ulli Kasselmann, Mario Stevens, Antonio do Vale, Ruth Herzog, Frederic Wandres und Francois Kasselmann (c) LL-Foto