The Young Riders Academy is back for 2023 (9th ed.), with two groups of highly talented young riders participating in the Full Program and the Educational Program.
The Young Riders Academy (YRA) team for 2023, where selection was held at Peelbergen equestrian centre, Netherlands, have now been announced. Out of 25 talented riders from fourteen different nations, six were selected for the full program and five for the Educational program.
Riders participated in four classes, exclusively for YRA candidates, over the course of two days and competed with a young horse and an experienced one. This new format for YRA ensures the same conditions for assessment.
After meticulously evaluating the candidates’ attitudes, motivation, and technical abilities, the Selection Panel, consisting of Otto Becker, Emile Hendrix, Thierry Pomel, and the YRA Board, announced the official Young Riders Academy Team 2023.
Young Riders Academy Full Program
Six of the twenty-five participants were nominated for the Full Program team, including Robert Murphy from the UK, Thibeau Spits from Belgium, Hannes Ahlmann from Germany, Sean Monaghan from Ireland, and Lars Kersten from the Netherlands, and Mira Oliva Hoeidal from Norway.
On his selection, Robert Murphy commented:
Many riders I have followed over the years involved in the Academy have gone on to make it to the top of the sport, which is something I am determined to achieve”
Young Riders Academy Educational Program
Meanwhile, five other riders were selected for the Educational Program team: Lily Attwood from the UK, Thibault Philippaerts from Belgium, Tereza Svobodova from the Czech Republic, Niamh McEvoy from Ireland, and Egor Shchibrik from Palestine (selected in 2022).
YRA President, Eleonora Ottaviani who emphasized the importance of supporting riders not only in their technical skills but also in the management of the sport, commented:
The level of candidates is higher every year, and the cultural mindset should grow accordingly”,
Eleonora firmly expresses her desire to see these athletes assuming leadership roles in equestrian institutions due to their knowledge and experiences.
Emile Hendrix, a member of the Selection Panel since the inception of the program, explained that the YRA is looking for riders who will make a difference in the future.
The level of applicants has been continuously rising, and being a good rider is not enough anymore. The new young riders have serious goals and are willing to work hard to achieve them. The Selection Panel is searching for qualities that set the candidates apart, including talent, determination, feeling, and organization”.
The Professionals training group for 2023, coordinated by Sven Holmberg and Jean Maurice Bonneau, will involve Olympic riders and Olympic medallists Jos Lansink, Franke Sloothaak, Marco Kutscher, Schröder’s brothers, Rob Ehrens, Laura Kraut with Nick Skelton, and Jens Fredricson.
The YRA team’23 will gather for the first sports clinic, led by Sloothaak, on April 17th in Peelbergen.
The education program, coordinated by Valentina Ottaviani, will be launched in June at Franklin University Switzerland in Lugano, followed by additional sessions at Uppsala University in Sweden, Cadre Noir de Saumur in France, FEI in Lausanne and Rolex Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
About the Young Riders Academy
The Young Riders Academy is a program intended for talented young European show jumpers, in collaboration with the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) and supported by Rolex since its establishment in 2014. This program offers riders between the ages of 18 and 23 the opportunity to train for several months at a professional stable, while also receiving education in communication, business and economics, veterinary practice, and legal matters related to show jumping. The program’s ultimate goal is to develop future champions and leaders in the sport.