It takes a huge organization to pull off any kind of international showjumping event, so to create an event in the middle of a world metropole like Paris – in a location that normally is not used for neither horses nor horseshows – needs some serious attention to detail. So, these days Virginie Couperie – event director of LGCT Paris Eiffel Jumping – has her hands full and World of Showjumping caught up with Couperie on the preparations for this wonderful event in Paris.
The LGCT Paris Eiffel Jumping has been taking place right in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower for two years now, but this year the show will have another location?
"At the time of the show there will be a huge screen placed in front of the Eiffel Tower so that people can watch the UEFA Euro 2016, so there will be a lot of soccer fans and it wouldn't be peaceful for the horses. So, we will move the show to the historic park La Plaine de Jeux de Bagatelle this year and then go back to the Eiffel Tower next year. It will so to say be a brand new event this year, and we will try to take advantage of the new beautiful venue. It is placed only a five-minutes drive from the Eiffel Tower and we will have coaches driving to make the access easy for everyone."
What is the most important thing when you organize an event in the middle of a city?
"The main thing is to have the support from the city. We have a great relationship with the City Hall and the mayor – they help us a lot and without their help it would be impossible."
How much time does it take to build up the venue and for how long will that part of the park be closed for the public?
"We will start to build around the 10th of June and then the show will take place on the 1-3 of July. After that we need about a week to take it all away again, so the space will be closed for a bit more than a month."
How many people work with this event?
"We are three people working all year long, but the closer we get to the show, the more people we need. I have a lot of ideas and really want to make this show a social meeting between sport, art, people and new technology.
This year we will introduce a new way of filming, and we want to let the ones watching experience a new vision of the sport. "
With all the terrorism going on around the world, will you add any extra security to the event?
"We will! Inside on the show ground you will be able to move freely, but you will have to go through security to get inside. It is probably good that we had to move the event this year – it is in Paris, but not in the middle of the city.
With this being the last show for the French team before the Olympic Games in Rio, I still think we will have a lot of visitors. And it is also important for us that the tourists come back to Paris."
Text © World of Showjumping // Picture © Gilles Bensimon.
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