12-04-2013 — Golden Pony Awards 2013 Moscow

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Ironically treated like 'Most Wanted People' by men of law in the Old West and handcuffed by two would-be sheriffs in front of a large 'jury' gathered at the Cosmos Hotel in Moscow, the ten winners of the Golden Pony® Awards 2013 were awarded the golden pony statuette on March 20 in the frame of the 15th anniversary RAAPA Expo celebrations.


The 12th edition of the International Golden Pony® Awards 2013 for excellence was held in Moscow last March. It was celebrated in the beautiful ballroom of Cosmos Hotel decked out in full regalia for a double celebration organized in conjunction by RAAPA, the Russian Association of amusement parks and attractions, and Facto Edizioni, publishers of Games & Parks Industry: the Golden Pony® Awards event and the 15h anniversary of the RAAPA Expo. But the ten winners this year were severely put to the test as for their adaptability to circumstances by a peculiar imaginery setting: the Old West. And they all answered with great irony. Playing on the double meaning of the words 'Most Wanted People" for Golden Pony® Awards, they were in fact treated more like outlaws to be judged than excellences to be awarded.
Immortalized in eye-catching souvenir posters with the inscription "Wanted" for Golden Pony Awards', the ten winners, as was pointed out in the presentation of Luisa Dal Bianco, vice president of Facto Edizioni, were the result of a difficult selection - as always carried out by the staff of the magazine Games & Parks Industry - particularly difficult because today centers of excellence are becoming more and more frequent in the CIS countries.
Applauded by an audience of about 300 people including suppliers of rides, leisure parks, members of trade associations and representatives of the press, the winners included various types of entertainment centers, both outdoor and indoor leisure parks and family entertainment centers as well as suppliers of attractions and theming.
Among the awardees there were several city parks with attractions, with a very competent management, higher standards and ambitious goals, as well as leisure parks developed by private investors. City Parks of Saransk, Gorky Central Park-Perm, Central Park of Kharkov, Ukraine, as well as Amusement Park Gelendzhik have all experienced a very important development last year. This brought to the birth of a second leisure park (see Saransk), to the addition of extensive theming (see Gorky Park-Perm), to the building of a new concept theme park (see Central Park Kharkov), and to a large refurbishment and installation of latest generation attractions, (see park in Gelendzhik).
The list of awarded parks was completed by an indoor themed waterpark based in Kazakhstan and featuring very high standards of attractions and finishes, Hawaii Aqua Park, as well as a travelling show company R.K.R Skiff, bringing its 7 lunaparks throughout Russia.
Among the winners there were also very interesting examples of family entertainment centers: the Fun City chain of entertainment centers for children expanding throughout Russia, and the Star Play center, sited in Kazakhstan, excelling for its mix of attractions nearer to an amusement park than an FEC.
Also the representative of a large company providing theming for the leisure industry, Theme Builders Russia, was awarded the Golden Pony and last but not least there was the RAAPA Association, awarded for all its efforts and precious activities in favour of the leisure industry in the CIS.
Everybody will certainly remember for a long time the great evening organized by RAAPA, the fine food and service, the lively performances of Las Vegas dancers dressed up with colourful feathers, the great participation in dancing and singing of all diners and obviously the award recipients that were extensively presented to the audience with a commented video.