LINK | We proudly present... the logo of the AUSTRIAN OPEN for Four-in-Hands: horse-friendly - optimized for the athletes - to offer the audience the fascination of driving in a top event with the best four-in-hand driving teams in the world - these are the parameters that the dedicated organizational team of the international FEI driving competition for four-in-hand drivers has set for itself from August 16th to 18th, 2024 on the grounds of the Austrian Lipizzaner Stud in Piber.
The status as an FEI World Cup™ qualifying event has also been applied for and organizational planning and preparations are already in full swing.
The organizing team of the AUSTRIAN OPEN for Four-in-Hands also consists of a top-class group of committed driving experts.
The event management lies with the stud manager of the Lipizzaner Stud Piber, Erwin Movia, who also has the reins of driving at the Austrian National Stud as an international competition driver and trainer.
The German driving legend Michael Freund, four-time FEI four-in-hand world champion, multiple FEI medalist, and three-time FEI Driving World Cup™ champion, as well as coach of multiple national teams, was hired in an advisory capacity.
The active Austrian four-in-hand drivers Erwin Gillinger and Wolfgang Binder, support the AUSTRIAN OPEN for Four-in-Hands project organizationally and in the marketing and financing agendas.
Erwin Gillinger: Basically, I had the idea for this event. When planning my competition schedule for the World Championships in 2024, I realized that there would be no four-in-hand event in Austria this year.
For many years it has been very important to me to promote and support driving in Austria.
Austria has so much history and tradition in driving sports - we need competitions in Austria at all levels. Especially in a year when there is a world championship on the program for four-in-hand driving - a World Championship in our neighboring country Hungary (September 4th to 8th, 2024 in Szilvásvárad) - activities in four-in-hand sport are particularly important.
With my experience as an active competition driver, and in lively exchange with Michael Freund and my sports colleagues Wolfgang Binder, my idea resulted in the project of a driving event that is horse-friendly, participant-friendly, and interesting for spectators and driving fans.
After a short exchange of ideas with Wolfgang Binder and Michael Freund, it quickly became clear that we wanted to organize something like that.
And Piber – the modern equestrian facility on the Lipizzaner Stud grounds in the heart of Austria, in green Styria, seemed to us to be the ideal venue for the AUSTRIAN OPEN for Four-in-Hands.”
Horse-friendly - optimized for the athletes - with the aim of offering the spectators the fascination of driving in a top event with the best four-in-hand driving teams in the world
To organize a competition optimized for the international four-in-hand scene, the following parameters were set in the organization:
- Compact, optimized start-up on 3 competition days, horse inspection on Friday morning - then the dressage - Saturday marathon and Sunday the grand finale with the exciting obstacle driving.
- Max. 20 four-in-hand teams, guarantee entertaining, exciting competitions
- The optimal infrastructure of the modern equestrian sports facility in Piber with short distances offers the best suitability for the final preparation for the FEI World Championships for four-in-hand vehicles. The ground in the sports arena of the Lipizzaner Stud in Piber is of the same quality as at the World Championships venue in Szilvásvárad.
The well-being of our sports partners – the horses – is in paramount
- The marathon with 6 obstacles - in order not to overtax the horses 3 weeks before the World Championships. All 6 marathon obstacles are designed according to the most modern standards of international driving, are designed by the highly recognized FEI course designer Johan Jacobs, and all obstacles are visible to the audience from the covered, comfortable grandstand.
The "Who's Who" of the international four-in-hand teams have already confirmed their attendance and there will be a top-class starting field at the start of the AUSTRIAN OPEN - the champions of the sport will show their skills on the reins in Piber and present their form - shortly before the FEI World Championships.
- At the invitation of the FEI officials, the World Championship was also selected.
- To best present the guaranteed great driving sport in Piber 2024 to spectators on all 3 days, an very experienced speaker in driving sport - the voice of Aachen, Rainer Kohaus, has been hired.
Have you already noted the date?
AUSTRIAN OPEN for Four-in-Hands 2024: August 16th to 18th, 2024… the great international driving competition for four-in-hand in Piber, Styria, the top driving sport event on the modern equestrian sports facility of the Austrian Lipizzaner Stud.
We are looking forward to the AUSTRIAN OPEN for Four-in-Hands 2024 in Piber – Styria – Austria!