Golden Pony® Award

International Awards for Excellence
for Leisure Parks, Traveling Showmen, FECs, Ride Manufacturers and Outstanding Personalities

THE GOLDEN PONY® BIRTH

The fascination of an 'Oscar'

Recognition of talent and achievements is an important aspect of every professional sector. The team of Facto Edizioni felt that the contributions of leisure industry professionals to the entire community were underrecognized. So in 2002 our International Golden Pony® was established to recognize excellence in the amusement park sector and celebrate it every year with a tangible symbolic statuette of a pony. Our background as publishers of the Games & Parks Industry magazine dedicated to leisure industry operators and distributed worldwide since 1984 provided us with the adequate know-how and qualified competence for that.

The Golden Pony® Award was a first in Europe in the leisure field.

AN INCLUSIVE AWARD

How winners are selected

The Golden Pony® Award (GPA) has no set categories or number of winners per year. Since the world of leisure is constantly evolving, the winners now range from different types of theme parks to waterparks, from fairground operators to attraction suppliers, from personalities in the sector to the many other types of business that have gradually entered the entertainment market: indoor and outdoor family entertainment centers, multifunctional game rooms, cinema complexes, experience-based shopping malls, sports facilities, interactive edutainment centers and others.

The aim of the promoters is to give space to those who, for talent, or innovation, for their relationship with customers, for their consistency with their own tradition, or for other reasons, have brilliantly stood out of the group, both at international or local levels. This way, the range of possible recipients is not limited to those companies that are considered the best in absolute terms. It extends also to small and medium-sized enterprises and to professionals who operate with excellence in less advanced geographical areas or within limited budgets.

MANY BUSINESS TYPOLOGIES INCLUDED

Winners by category

To give an idea of the types of business of the winners, we present them in a percentage graph divided into macro categories. The picture is obviously imprecise since some winners could fall into several types of park. Besides it does not take into account the fact that the relevance of one or the other category varies greatly from country to country (depending on the climate, proximity to the sea, geographical conformation and national history).
There are in fact types of facilities that are present only in certain geographical areas. City parks/municipal parks for example, that have their deep roots in Soviet culture, are the predominant type of outdoor fixed parks in Russia and have no parallel elsewhere. Speaking of the CIS countries, the indoor family entertainment center has increasingly assumed the typical features of a complete outdoor park.

THE AWARD WINNERS DIVIDED BY TYPE

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AMUSEMENT / THEME PARKS
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SHOWMEN / MOBILE PARKS
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FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTERS
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PERSONALITIES / CAREER AWARDS
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COMPANIES
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MUNICIPAL PARKS
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WATERPARKS
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ACTION PARKS
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CHILDREN ENTERTAINMENT CENTERS
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NATURE PARKS / ZOO & AQUARIUMS
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MINIATURE PARKS
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SINCE 2002
Over 300 recipients tell the history of the award

From the 2002 first edition in Rimini (Italy), the event has grown year after year both in scope and fame and today the prestige of the GPA is undisputed and recognized internationally. The gala for the delivery of prizes organized at each edition is awaited and experienced with great emotion by the operators. The locations that have welcomed it over the years have contributed to its success. Most of them are in Italy where the award was born (Rimini, Genoa, Rome, Venice-Rovigo) but also outside Italy: Istanbul and Moscow.

Among the winners of the award we mention the theme parks Europa-Park, Gardaland, Phantasialand, Efteling, Tivoli Copenhagen, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Mirabilandia, just to name some of the most renowned European parks, but also internationally renowned personalities such as Dennis Speigel from ITPS (USA) and manufacturers known throughout the world including Zamperla S.p.a, Dotto Trains, SBF-Visa Group (Italy), Mack Rides (Germany), Intamin (Lichtenstein), Polin Waterparks (Turkey) and Pax Company (Russia).

A TRIP AROUND THE WORLD
Winners from
over 50 countries

As of today the GPA recipients are over 330 from 53 countries. In the American continent participating countries include Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela and the US with awardees such as respectively Milton Trombini, Mr Nava, Miguel Barreses, Circus Zoppe in the traveling park category, and Playcenter and Parque Shanghai (Brazil) in the park category.  In the Far East, the Golden Pony® reached Singapore and Malaysia with awardees like traveling operator Lee Woon Chiang and parks such as Sunway Lagoon, to name the most far away.  In the Middle East you’ll find it in Saudi Arabia gained by the Al Hokair Group and Freij El Zhein (Dubai).  In the northern area you’ll find it at Santa Park (Finland) and Lieseberg (Sweden). Starting from 2011 the Moscow location of the event has become a constant annual tradition so that the CIS countries can count around 100 winners up to now, coming from the four cardinal points of the region.

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Awardees from around the world

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International events since 2002

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Winners' home countries

Awardees per country

Algeria

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Armenia

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Austria

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Azerbaijan

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Belarus

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Belgium

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Brazil

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Bulgaria

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Crimea

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Croatia

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Czech Rep.

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Denmark

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Egypt

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Finland

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France

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Georgia

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Germany

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Greece

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Hungary

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India

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Iran

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Ireland

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Italy

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Kazakhstan

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Kenya

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Kyrgyzstan

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Lebanon

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Lichtenstein

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Luxembourg

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Malaysia

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Mexico

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Morocco

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Netherlands

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Norway

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Pakistan

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Poland

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Portugal

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Qatar

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Romania

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Russia

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Sau. Arabia

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Singapore

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Spain

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Sweden

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Switzerland

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Tajikistan

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Turkey

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UAE

0

UK

0

Ukraine

0

USA

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Uzbekistan

0

Venezuela

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THE MEANING
The Golden Pony® statuette

In all cultures and in all countries the horse is the symbol of amusement park’s and fairground’s attractions. A young pony, not yet mature, provides a message of work in progress: something that is still developing and that continually grows as part of its essence. So, by adopting that symbol we wanted to underline that, just like our pony, the business of each leisure operator must be focused on development and growth. Setting new objectives and reaching them shows the true strength of a park/FEC/traveling show operator.

This requires character and determination. Our pony expresses this in its upright posture, and in its straight ears that, like antennae, are ready to capture any message or external input that may help bring improvements.

The stylized design of the Golden Pony® statuette, purposely ‘incomplete’ gives a sense of the spirit behind the prize: its aim is not only to be recognition of excellence, but also an incentive for those who win it to keep expanding on their vision, with the awareness that assessment, both in work and in life, never ends.

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