With 175 years of Waregem Koerse, last year there was a festive digging in the past, but Waregem Koerse also thinks ahead: TOGETHER ! In 2023, the emphasis is again on experiencing great equestrian top sport, but in a changing world, Waregem Koerse explicitly wants to contribute.
Note the date: August 29, 2023. As every year, on the last Tuesday of August, more than 35,000 fans gather at the mythical hippodrome of Waregem. This year will be no different. Do you remember the elongated scream of jockey Angelo Zuliani after he won the ING Great Steeple Chase of Flanders with his horse Polinuit last year? “That said everything about the importance and greatness of the ING Great Steeple Chase of Flanders, still the main attraction of Waregem Koerse”, emphasizes managing director Bram Vandewalle.
“Polinuit then proved that the long-standing dominance of the French success coach Patrice Quinton could indeed be broken. That’s the beauty of sports. Boundaries can be pushed. The latter is even one of our slogans this year. TOGETHER we want to push boundaries with Waregem Koerse. In that context, this year we are putting the fight against brain disorders even more in the spotlight through the 4BrainRace and under the motto ‘How do I keep my brain healthy?’. We also emphasize that more and more female drivers/jockeys are pressing their noses at the window.”
TOGETHER we also want to create a more sustainable world in different ways. For example, Waregem Koerse TOGETHER with the VDAB of Waregem integrates people into its organization and TOGETHER with the welfare house of Waregem, Waregem Koerse develops an opportunity rate ticket for people who are less fortunate today. And together with our suppliers, we organize a sustainable event. For example, drinks will be sold in reusable cups this year. TOGETHER with Locquet Power & Light, the construction will be done entirely on solar panels and batteries. And if you make a donation for 4Brain or plant a tree, you have a chance to participate in Waregem Koerse in a duo sulky!
Writing business together and memorable moments together
TOGETHER will therefore be the common thread throughout the Waregem Koerse story this year and the coming years. “Enjoying TOGETHER is paramount”, bram Vandewalle continues. “In the first instance, everyone should enjoy top sport in combination with entertainment. This is how we want to create memorable moments TOGETHER. Just about every loyal visitor has a story about his or her ‘koerse’.
Waregem Koerse is also known for ‘doing business together’. Every year, the Waregem hippodrome guarantees massive networking and doing business in a pleasant setting. And that is also the beauty of Waregem Koerse: the popular pleasure goes hand in hand with doing business.”
As every year, the health of the horses takes precedence during Waregem Koerse. “That’s why the course was adjusted. One obstacle was removed from the course. On the other hand, an extra hurdle was added to the last straight to reduce the speed. The obstacles were also replanted so that the horses can jump through better. Moreover, Waregem Koerse has been working with the University of Ghent on its own initiative for years. The UG inspects all horses. When a horse is not ‘fit to compete’, it does not appear at the start. All participating horses must also be able to prove that they have achieved good results in the last year and are therefore in good condition. Both the horses and the jockeys/drivers must also pass the doping control. And last but not least: the soil is worked very carefully to prevent it from being too soft or too hard.
Those who want to enjoy TOGETHER, push boundaries, do business, write memorable moments and create a sustainable world at Waregem Koerse on Tuesday 29 August, can buy tickets at € 24 via www.waregemkoerse.be during the first of three waves from this week.