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Athenaeum presents an academy for promising young riders

Friday, 04 April 2014

The young Riders Academy is a new program conceived for talented young show jumpers, under the patronage of the European Equestrian Federation (EEF), with the cooperation of the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) and the support of Rolex.

Athenaeum is a non-profit association founded by a group of professionals with a passion for horses. The project is the result of a complex reasoning: the world of sports is evolving fast and athletes must become managers of themselves to achieve their ambitions. The equestrian sport, for reasons related to its nature, has lagged a lot behind the others.

The above scenario inspired the Athenaeum working group, and the young Riders Academy is the result. "This project represents a completely new concept for promising riders, coming as well from developing countries. For the first time a broad new formula has been presented to help future professionals" says Breido Graf zu Rantzau, member of Athenaeum's board.

"It is definitely a new concept and we hope it will transform the training asset. The goal is not just to help athletes, but to educate them to a modern sport system which requires further skills", stated Eleonora Moroni Ottaviani, board member.

This program will give five talented riders between the ages of 18 and 23 the chance to get six months of training and boarding at a well-known professional stable with no costs. On top of that, the program also includes professional education in communication, business and economics, veterinary and legal practice related to show jumping. The objective is to develop future champions as well as potential managers of this sport.

Furthermore, Athenaeum wants to underline that the program does not want to be in conflict with other activities the NF may have for their young promising riders. Again, there are no obligations for the NF to participate in this project; moreover, Athenaeum is fully prepared to find ways of cooperating both in planning and follow-up in order to help the growth of this wonderful and amazing sport.

The Project

The program consists in the organization of a riding academy dedicated to young talents. The young Riders Academy has been developed by Athenaeum under the patronage of the European Equestrian Federation and with the cooperation of the International Jumping Riders Club. Rolex, the world's leading Swiss watch brand, has joined from the start as the project's main sponsor for a multi-year contract.

The Selection Process

Each European Federation is invited to enter up to three candidates for the program. The riders must demonstrate riding skills based on excellent results in 140-150 classes; as well as submit a personal profile including education, interests and ambitions for evaluation.

A total of 25-30 riders will be selected from the pool of applicants by a panel consisting of Otto Becker, Jean-Maurice Bonneau, Emile Hendrix and Sven Holmberg. Those selected will be invited to one of two CSIs in southern and northern Europe. By the end of May the panel will identify the five final participants.

2014 Edition

For the first phase, selection has just been completed. Twenty-nine riders from 13 countries have been chosen; some from the J and YR European Championships 2013 and the others from nominations by the National Federations. The riders are invited to jump either in Italy (Toscana Tour, April 10-13) or in Germany (Landgestüt Redefin, May 9-11). During these events, the candidates' performance will be assessed by the selection panel.

By end of May, the panel will identify the five final participants.

Trainers involved for the 2014 riding session are Ludger Beerbaum, Rolf Göran Bengtsson, Dietmar Gugler, Gilbert de Rock and Kevin Staut. The trainer-rider pairing will be decided by the selection panel in agreement with each participant.

For further information:,

Source: Press release from A young riders academy.

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