Aug 1, 2022

Future needs strong partners - HKM and Bundeschampionate have a common vision

Photo: FN

Since this year, the traditional Bundeschampionate in Warendorf is supported by the equally traditional company HKM Sports Equipment GmbH as title sponsor. Both partners have known each other for a long time, both can look back on a successful history, and both want one thing: to position themselves strongly for the future - and to do so together.
Before the national and international horse scene in all its facets meets in the horse mecca Warendorf on the first weekend of September, the HKM Bundeschampionate will present its new logo. Jonas Niemeyer, Managing Director of HKM Sports Equipment GmbH, and Markus Scharmann, Show Director of the Bundeschampionate, answer in an interview, among other things, the question why this cooperation is a strong sign - both for the HKM brand and the Bundeschampionate, but especially for the location Warendorf.
In spring, the new partnership between HKM and the Bundeschampionate was announced. Now a new logo reinforces the cooperation. How did it come about?
Jonas Niemeyer: We took the necessary time to work with the German Equestrian Federation and the En Garde Marketing agency to develop a logo that reflects both the DNA of the Bundeschampionate and the DNA of HKM in equal measure. The result is a symbiosis that illustrates our commitment very well: Our partnership is a long-term cooperation.
Markus Scharmann: I would even consider it a new era for the Bundeschampionate. You can see that in the logo: The proven past is preserved, but at the same time we are taking a step into a new future with this partnership, we will dare new things and want to fundamentally develop further. The logo is also a symbol that we want to lead the Bundeschampionate together into the future.
A partnership between HKM and the FN has existed for a long time, how did the expansion of the cooperation come about?
Jonas Niemeyer: The foundation stone for this was laid in late summer 2021, more or less during my inaugural visit to Warendorf. Together, we considered how to intensify the cooperation. HKM has already been involved in popular sport for over 30 years, and now we wanted to promote a top-class tournament format. The option of supporting the Bundeschampionate in Warendorf as title sponsor came at just the right time. We were very pleased to be able to get on board so quickly and thus seize an additional opportunity to further develop our brand.
We live equestrian sport. We have 140 employees and most of them are active in equestrian sports themselves. That is our DNA and everyone is very happy that we are involved to this extent in Warendorf.  The location is also important to us and we are proud to be able to contribute to securing the Bundeschampionate in Warendorf for the next few years.
What does the partnership with HKM mean for the Bundeschampionate?
Markus Scharmann: I can answer that with one word: future! When I look ahead and draw a vision, I think it is important that this tournament continues to develop. The HKM Bundeschampionate in Warendorf are a showcase for German horse breeding. But they are also a training event and should be better perceived as such. Not only with regard to the training of young horses, but in many different ways. In Warendorf, I was able to involve the whole range of "horse people" on the show days: Breeders, owners, national and international riders, but also just amateurs up to young riders who present the ponies. The target group is very broad. Against this background, the HKM Bundeschampionate are a kind of beacon in questions of training young horses. It is not only about the question: How should the young horses and ponies be trained? It is also about the aspect: How do we want the riders to present the young horses, what kind of riding do we want to see?
We certainly have further reserves for expansion. For example, with regard to the internationality of the tournament. In order to further develop the Bundeschampionate and to tap the expansion reserves, we need strong partners like HKM.

How can HKM be experienced at the Bundeschampionaten?
Jonas Niemeyer: A project team is currently taking care of the HKM world of experience, to which we cordially invite all visitors and participants of the HKM Bundeschampionate. HKM will appear in Warendorf in a completely new splendor, with many novelties and specials. In addition, we will also involve our dealers.
Among other things, we will present our new Hobby Horses during the event and fans will be able to try them out on our own training ground. As a special feature, we will be holding a big raffle and also presenting our first independent dog collection, Anam Cara.
But the most important thing for me is: We also want to reach the professionals and amateur show riders. That is why we are also presenting our new HKM Selection brand in Warendorf. Starting in the fall, we will market premium collections under this label, which are characterized by particularly high-quality materials and classically elegant designs.
In addition, as before, we want to be an active problem solver for the stable aisle, so we will also be presenting many new functional, very practical products. For example, we have developed various new functional articles for horses. We are also bringing functional textiles for two-legged and four-legged animals for everyday stable use.
The bottom line for us is to show that we have decades of experience and a great deal of expertise in equestrian sports in our company, which is reflected in our innovative products.
But there are also to be innovations in the tournament concept of the HKM Bundeschampionate, what can be expected there?
Markus Scharmann: Preserve the old, dare the new, could be the motto. I think we have a very good training structure here in Germany and many elements that are the envy of other countries. The training of young horses requires a lot of competence, is connected with a lot of work and if the result of this work pays off with corresponding successes at the HKM Bundeschampionaten, this must be rewarded with corresponding prize money. We have adapted this in the discipline of jumping.
It is now also a logical step to include the seven-year-old dressage horses after the show jumpers. We also want to offer older show jumpers a platform in Warendorf. That is why we are including a kind of Grand Prix of former Bundeschampionat participants in the program. The development stories of these horses will certainly be exciting. We want to tell them.
We also want to become closer, not least for the people of Warendorf. We want to involve the citizens of the town more and make the Bundeschampionate an experience. On show Friday, every resident of the city of Warendorf will receive free admission to the grounds. In addition, the catering area will be expanded. There will be training demonstrations, e.g. how the training of young eventing horses is set up. We also want to give visitors a look behind the scenes in guided tours.
How does that sound to you, Mr. Niemeyer?
Jonas Niemeyer: It's exactly the direction we want to take as well. The HKM Bundeschampionate should be an experience for the visitors. They should be close and create encounters - that is crucial to make the event forward-looking. We are fully behind this. The format simply creates great anticipation and we want to strengthen the concept. The HKM Bundeschampionate should once again become the equestrian event in the show calendar.