December is fast approaching and at the current moment the number of corona infections is rapidly on the rise. Yet the organisers of Jumping Mechelen remain cautiously hopeful. After a smattering of scenarios, the final plan is now on the table. If the proposal is approved, and the corona infection rate evolves in a positive direction – because safety remains the number one priority – Jumping Mechelen plans to organise a Covid Pop-up edition between 26 and 30 December at Azelhof (Lier), including the 3 FEI World Cups (Jumping, Dressage, Driving), the finals of the FEI Jumping Ponies’ Trophy, a CSI Juniors and Young Riders, the finals of the JM Indoor Masters, and an auction for 2-year-old jumpers.
No Nekkerhal this time
To create a safe, financially viable and practically achievable scenario, the organisation has no choice but to leave the Nekkerhal this year. Luckily, the nearby Azelhof in Lier is available as a lovely, permanent accommodation that already contains nearly all the necessary amenities. As soon as the situation permits, the organisation will return to the trusty Nekkerhal and to the Jumping Mechelen we have all known and loved for years.
For the sport, for the future, for everyone
By organising the event despite these difficult times, Jumping Mechelen wants to make a significant contribution to international equestrianism. It will also be a chance for young riders, for the finals of the FEI Jumping Ponies’ Trophy to take place, and for those selected for the JM Indoor Masters to ride a grand finale. The auction for 2-year-old jumpers is also on the programme. The federations are working on alternatives to the various finals that cannot take place at Jumping Mechelen 2020, and will keep their members up to date.
In the current proposal for the Covid Pop-up edition of Jumping Mechelen, there is capacity for audience attendance, albeit very limited. Visitors will attend the event sitting at tables, following the current protocols for restaurants. The organisation will also try to provide high-quality live streams and live TV coverage to ensure that everyone, including those at home by the Christmas tree, can enjoy the event.
Creating a water-tight plan was only possible with the help of a number of trusty partners, that the organisation would like to thank. The plan is currently in the hands of our ministers and the mayor of Lier, who will make a decision at the earliest by the end of October. After that, we will still have to wait and see how the infection rate evolves. Nothing is certain, but we remain hopeful. An update will follow as soon as possible.