Local readers will not need reminding the weather on Whit Monday was not the best for a gymkhana to take place. Nevertheless, fans of equestrian events duly turned up to watch, along with a number of VIPs.
These included, for example, former Wimbledon champion Martina Hingis, now Mrs Harald Leeman, who can be seen in the photograph with her husband and father-in-law Karlheinz.
The event, which took place on Stierenmarkt, has become a regular fixture on Zug’s calendar in recent years. Andy Kistler, the leader of the Swiss show-jumping team, praised the organisation of the event, mentioning, too, how the latest world rankings put Swiss national Steve Guerdat in top place and fellow compatriot Marcus Fuchs in third place. He also pointed out that, in show jumping, right up as far as Olympic level, both men and women competed equally against each other, unlike in most other sports.
Not only were VIPs from the world of sport present, so, too, were a number of members of the Zug cantonal government, namely Heinz Tännler, the cantonal director of finance, Stephan Schleiss, the cantonal director of education, Martin Pfister, the cantonal director of health, and Beat Villiger, the cantonal director of justice, in addition to two of Zug’s representatives in Bern, Thomas Aeschi and Peter Hegglin, all of whom had been invited to the event.
There was much speculation about what all these political representatives might have been discussing at the event, the members of the cantonal government joking that they had been able to get through so much there it was hardly necessary to hold an official meeting the next day. In reality, they had very much concentrated on the sporting event, rather than make it a business meeting. Villiger added that he himself was a horse lover who rode himself but had never taken part in any competitions.
Returning to Martina Hingis, who actually rode in the event in 2018, she said she now rode three times a week, while her husband and baby daughter, Lia, looked on. “Riding is my passion,” she admitted.
No event like this could take place without generous sponsors, of course, and these were present, too, namely Philipp Buhofer, Susanne Zürcher and Ulrich Straub (from left to right in the photograph). It was Buhofer who set up the sponsorship committee for this event along with Zürcher, Straub and Adrian Risi, meaning it is now assured long-term.