A total of 59 countries participated in the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games™.
- Dressage 89 participants (33 countries)
- Jumping 116 participants (41 countries)
- Eventing 79 participants (24 countries)
- Driving 49 participants (19 countries)
- Endurance 159 participants (42 countries)
- Vaulting 80 participants (23 countries)
- Reining 68 participants (21 countries)
Countries participating for the first time: Antigua & Barbuda, Bahrain, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Libya, Namibia, Oman, Slovenia, Syria
Aachen saw a record number of participating riders and nations: 116 and 41 respectively. For the first time the second championship competition, the two rounds run according to the Nations Cup formula, was held on two consecutive days. The second round took place under floodlights which made the course designer, Frank Rothenberger, decide to leave out the water jump.
The Netherlands and the United States gained gold and silver respectively, while Germany took the bronze in the team medals. Two different rounds on day four decided the four finalists. Beezie Madden, with 4-0, was in the top position. Jos Lansink and Edwina Alexander, both with double clears, made it too, as did Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER), despite 5 penalties in round A.
The change-of-horses final consisted of eight obstacles, of which one was triple combination. The 16 rounds of the four riders brought an unprecedented 15 clear rounds. Only Edwina Alexander, the last rider on the over-excited Shutterfly, had one knock-down to finish 4th. Beezie Madden was on her way to victory when Authentic knocked down the last jump so gold went to the sole male finalist, Jos Lansink (BEL), silver the Beezie Madden (USA) and bronze to Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER).
For the 11th World Championships held in Aachen in the framework of the fifth FEI World Equestrian Games™, a new formula was introduced. There were three competitions before: Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special and Kür to Music. For the team medals the procedures remained unchanged: only the results of the Grand Prix were taken into account, four riders per country, and three best results to count. Then, instead of adding the scores from the three competitions to find the individual medallists, as had been the case in Rome and Jerez de la Frontera, two individual medal sets were offered. The new rules were a great hit with the public and the stadiums for the Special and the Kür were sold out. Isabell Werth won the Special, with Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands and Andreas Helgestrand of Denmark next on the podium. Van Grunsven won the Kür ahead of Helgestrand and Werth. The team competition was won by Germany, with the Netherlands and the United States in the silver and bronze positions.
Aachen saw Zara Philips (GBR), the daughter of a former individual European champion (1971) and of an Olympic team champion (1972) win the 11th individual world title, riding the 13 year-old British-bred Toytown. Here she repeated her success of the previous year at the FEI European Championships in Blenheim. Australia’s Clayton Fredericks took the individual silver medal followed by USA’s Amy Trion. Germany claimed team gold over Great Britain and Australia. The cross country course measured 6380 metres, with 31 obstacles necessitating 45 jumps. Fifty-six of the 79 starters finished the competition.
Aachen, the most traditional Driving event in the world, was a fitting host for the FEI World Driving Championship. However, the marathon was not held in the Aachen forest where, for decades, the world’s top drivers had competed for the coveted Talbot Trophy. Instead, Aachen secured a vast area of land just across the road from the main stadium, where they organised both the eventing cross country and the driving marathon in 2006. Dressage and cones driving was held in the old driving place, now surrounded by temporary stands. Forty-nine drivers from 19 nations competed, of which 16 had at least two drivers, making them eligible for the team standings. Felix Brasseur of Belgium, the World Champion in 1996, overtook Ijsbrand Chardon of the Netherlands, and Christoph Sandmann (GER) finished ahead of Tomas Eriksson (SWE) to take the bronze medal. Michael Freund (GER), in his farewell event, was fifth. Germany - with Freund, Sandmann and Duen - won team gold, ahead of Belgium and the Netherlands.
The 11th World championships were held on the first day of the fifth FEI World Equestrian Games™. The French won the team gold medal by a huge margin of 1h 45m, followed by Switzerland and Portugal. Individual gold went to Miguel Vila Ubach of Spain on the eight-year-old Arabian Hungares. Two French riders, Virginie Atger and Elodie Le Labourier, took individual silver and bronze.
The 160 km through Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium were made more difficult because of the rain that poured especially towards the end. 40% of the riders (65 participants) actually finished the competition.
Eighty competitors from 23 nations took part in the Vaulting World Championships at the 2006 FEI WEG. Germany claimed team gold followed by the USA and Austria. For individual honours, USA’s Megan Benjamin took gold followed by Austria’s Katharina Faltin and Sissi Jarz in silver and bronze medal positions. For the male competition, Germany’s Kai Vorberg came first followed by compatriot Gero Meyer and Slovakia’s Ladislav Majdlen.