Officially greeted by a roaring oracle guarded by Roman centurions in full uniform, the winners of the Golden Pony Awards 2012 in Moscow were celebrated by sparkling feathered Brazilian dancers, March 21st last, in the frame of the 14th RAAPA Expo
Two hundred and fifty awards for excellence in the amusement sector given to operators around the world are a great achievement for the Golden Pony Awards®, the international prize, founded by Games & Parks Industry, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2012.
To designate the 10 winners of the Golden Pony Awards 2012 - Moscow Special Event, the second held with great success in Russia, this year no less than an ancient oracle, the Mouth of Truth, was moved to exhibition center VVTs. It was Mr Danilo Tosetto himself, the patron of the event and editor of Games & Parks Industry who, ‘going along with the game’ told the participants “the oracle was carried on the stage of Pavilion 75, directly from ancient Rome, to fulfill a difficult task: the selection of winners in a market that has many excellent facilities and operators that deserve an award.”
Elegantly set up for the awards ceremony and the traditional welcome reception organized by RAAPA for the exhibitors of Expo 2012, the convention hall of Pavilion 75 welcomed an audience of 270 guests including suppliers of rides, leisure parks, members of trade associations and representatives of the press.
The 10 Golden Pony awardees were called one by one on stage with a loud voice from the mysterious oracle, which was guarded by two centurions in full uniform and by a priest with a crown of laurels around his head. As Danilo Tosetto explained in his introductory speech, they were carefully selected by the editors of the magazine Games & Parks Industry. Most of the winners were family entertainment centers located inside shopping centers, but not simply that: they were all characterized by a large size and a mix of attractions nearer to an amusement park than an FEC so that they could be defined real indoor amusement parks. A total of 4 winners were part of this category: Funky Town, Funtura, Happylon Vegas, and Star & Mlad with its owner and developer, Planeta Razvlecheniy. This was evidence of a sharp increase in this market area in the countries of former Soviet Union, the more because other 2 of the awarded companies confirmed this trend with their activities: the Italian design bureau BAUSAA Baustudio, with offices in Moscow and Dammam, which has been operating in the Russian market in particular for the design and construction of parks and indoor themed FECs, and the Russian company Game City, which has been dealing for 10 years with the provision of services and attractions for this specific area. Closing off the rose of the award recipients were Gerry Robinson, a leading figure in the CIS for the contribution he has given to the growth of this market in terms of quality and international scope, and 3 amusement parks of great interest: the first of them was the Culture & Leisure Park Sherbakov in Donetsk, awarded for the impetus towards internationalism shown by its investments in top quality attractions; the second was Kiddie Park ‘Skazka’ (meaning 'fairytale’), in Lipetsk, awarded for its preference of the younger target and its professional dedication to children; the third was Amusement ParkKemerovo awarded for its vocation for the family target in terms of equipment, safe rides and great shows.
Eveybody will certainly remember the great evening for a long time, its fine food and service, the magic of the circus show with knife blades and crystals in equilibrium, and the lively performances of 7 sparkling Brazilian samba dancers only dressed with feathers. They must certainly be credited with giving the participants the full understanding and excitement of what Rio Carnival really is, especially when all were invited to ged rid of the stiffness of their everyday life and freely express their emotions and warmth in the dance. And all that, while snow was falling down outside in Moscow, which also could wake warm feelings its way.

The winners of the Golden Pony Awards 2012, Moscow special edition
(in alphabetical order)

  • Amusement Park, Kemerovo, Russia                       
  • BAUSAA Baustudio Architects Associates, Italy           
  • Funky Town, Kazakhstan/Russia           
  • Funtura, Donetsk, Ukraine
  • Game City Group, Belgorod, Russia
  • Gerry Robinson, United Kingdom           
  • Happylon Vegas, Moscow, Russia
  • Planeta Razvlecheniy, Voronezh, Russia
  • Sherbakov Culture & Leisure park, Donetsk, Ukraine
  • ‘Skazka’ kiddie park, Lipetsk, Russia