GOLDEN PONY® AWARDS edizione 2010

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On 6 October the Grand Hotel Ritz in Rome hosted the prize ceremony for the Golden Pony Awards 2010 – the leisure sector Oscars organised by Games & Parks Industry. Twenty two award winners from 15 countries around the world 
Excellence recognised in all segments of the leisure business
The event was awaited with much expectation by operators in the leisure sector: the Golden Pony Awards were established in 2002 by Games & Parks Industry magazine to give tangible recognition to excellence in the sector, by awarding golden statuettes shaped like ponies. Over the years, 180 operators from the leisure sector have been awarded, and the event has increased its fame and prestige. This year, on October 6 there were over 200 partecipants at the Golden Pony Awards 2010 gala evening organised at the Grand Hotel Ritz in Rome.
Like on the six previous occasions, internationality and diversity were the mainstays of the event. The 22 prize winners this time came from 15 countries around the world, representing different categories in the sector: the traditional categories of travelling showmen and amusement parks plus the new one inaugurated in 2009 of manufacturers of rides, joined this year by another category, 'special prizes' assigned to various personalities and businesses.
“Every day", the managing editor of Games & Parks Industry, Danilo Tosetto said in his introductory speech, ”these people spend 8-9 hours and at times even more than a normal working day inventing new attractions (in the case of manufacturers) or investing large sums in creating new parks or  buying new rides. At times overcoming enormous difficulties. We therefore believe that, above all in these difficult times, those who stand out for their business success, history, or innovative spirit deserve the right visibility. The Golden Pony", Tosetto continued, "has no economic value, it's a symbol through which the Games & Parks Industry magazine wants to recognise peaks in excellence, as well as the commitment and sacrifices of those who work in the sector, and at the same time encourage everyone to do better".
So on October 6, in Rome, we saw the winners of these popular statuettes on the stage: representatives of major European companies in the leisure sector, such as Intamin for Liechtenstein, Mondial World of Rides for the Netherlands, Pax Company for Russia, Industrias Royo for Spain and Sbf-Visa Rides for Italy, companies that stand out for their  inventive, technical expertise, solid background in research and development, and their  dedication. Then Michel Prat and Linz City Express, respectively representatives and  operators of a niche product, the rubber tyred train, which is fast expanding its market  penetration, XTeam that excels for the inventiveness and passion it puts into the production of shows for parks and events. Then Le Ludion, which with its barrel organs spreads one of the most popular funfair traditions in the world. 

The winners in the parks category included Europa Park, which excels in  everything but was awarded for its recent  advanced technological additions, Luna Park Coney Island for the miracle of returning the popular New York destination of Coney Island to its previous international prestige in  just three months, and Gardaland for the strong emotional impact  of its recent attractions, capable of attracting a younger public, Sunway Lagoon from Malaysia for its offering of several parks in one, Happylon, in Russia, for its wide range of attractions, including thrill rides, all skilfully installed in an indoor environment, Ölands Djur-& Nöiespark from Sweden, being a resort with zoo park, amusement park and waterpark incorporated, and the Russian Exhibition of Attractions, as a point of reference for citizens of Moscow.
The travelling show category included organisers of big funfairs such as Marc Weydert, a leading personality in Luxembourg, and the English Murphy family, for five generations involved in the organisation of The Hoppings in Newcastle. Then there was  Spaniard Francisco Vilà Berbis who, expert carpenter, makes some of his most popular attractions himself, and Rosa Severeyns, who today is committed to helping women and children with a travelling school. And finally, the Swede Richard Berglund who has extended his father's travelling business, now hiring some of his attractions to other parks and organisations.

"We offer out heartfelt thanks to all those who have believed in us  once again", Tosetto concluded, "starting with the sponsors – Vekoma, Mack Rides, Pax Company, Dotto Trains, Induferias and XTeam – who have supported the organisation, the nimerous associations who have been present here – ANSVA, SNISV-CISL, the German DSB, the Dutch BOVAK, the Polish association of travelling showmen, the ESU-UFE and ESYU.
  • Luna Park Borowiak (Cezary & Wieslaw Borowiak) -POLONIA
  • Rosa Severeyns -BELGIO
  • Francisco Vila’  Berbis -SPAGNA
  • The Murphy Family (John Murphy Jnr & John Henry)-REGNO UNITO
  • Nöjesfältet Caravellen (Richard Berglund)-SVEZIA
  • Marc Weydert  -LUSSEMBURGO 
  • Russian Exhibition Of Attractions (Evgenyia Plyushcheva)-RUSSIA
  • Europa-Park (Ian Jenkins) -GERMANIA
  • Sunway Lagoon (Aaron Soo)-MALESIA
  • Gardaland Resort (Danilo Santi)-ITALIA
  • Luna Park Coney Island (Marco Mazzucchi)-USA
  • Ölands Djur- & Nöjespark (Mrs Barbro Hägg)-SVEZIA
  • Happylon Fec, Filion Mall-RUSSIA
  • Michel Prat -FRANCIA
  • Xteam (Ivan Kostov & Tania Faraon) -ITALIA
  • Linz City Express (Lothar Geiger) -AUSTRIA
  • Le Ludion (Eve Chaillat & Philippe Crasse)-FRANCIA
  • Intamin (Roy Vocking) -LICHTENSTEIN
  • Mondial World Of Rides (Froukje Knjipstra)-PAESI BASSI
  • Pax Company (Vladimir Gnezdilov) -RUSSIA
  • Industrias Royo (José Antonio & José Miguel Royo) -SPAGNA
  • Sbf-Visa Rides (Vittorio Frison) -ITALIA