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Jos Lansink about CHIO Aachen Campus: “For young riders, the Programme of Excellence is a fantastic opportunity”

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Photo © CHIO Aachen/ A.Steindl Jos Lansink is the showjumping head coach in the Programme of Excellence. Photo © CHIO Aachen/ A.Steindl.


Text © World of Showjumping



Loved by everyone, CHIO Aachen is known as one of the most popular equestrian events in the world and now the organizers are reaching for a new milestone. To cement their position as the heart of equestrian sports, the infrastructure at CHIO Aachen has through CHIO Aachen Campus been made available for 365 days a year. With different educational and training programs especially geared towards the youth, CHIO Aachen Campus aims to be a steppingstone to the top sport for young talents.

“We aim CHIO Aachen Campus to become an international centre of equestrian competence,” Stefan Knopp – who is in charge of the project – explains to World of Showjumping. “So far, we have mainly used our showground ten days per year – during the CHIO. Sometimes we rented it out to other organizers, but in the future, we want to use it more ourselves. For this purpose, we defined five clusters: The Programme of Excellence, as well as Youth, Education, Digital and Training.”

“The Training cluster is aimed at amateur riders,” Knopp explains. “They can come and use our coaches, facilities and technic, to gather special experience here in Aachen. Something that is very important to us, is the Youth cluster and the promotion of young riders – we are really a venue to host the youth. We have started a camp for kids; they can come here and get in contact with horses – perhaps for their first time. Under the Education cluster, we offer workshops and seminars, for those who want to work as professionals in the equestrian branch, as well as officials. Digitally, we want to develop our technology and find new digital gadgets for equestrian sports.”

Photo © CHIO Aachen “We aim CHIO Aachen Campus to become an international centre of equestrian competence,” Stefan Knopp – who is in charge of the project – explains to World of Showjumping. Photo © CHIO Aachen.

“The Programme of Excellence is an international mentoring program for top talents, both in jumping and dressage,” Knopp continues. “We want to prepare these young people for the professional sport, and it is not only about riding. As a professional rider, there are also organizational skills you need, and we have included all these different areas – as well as fitness, mental coaching and media training – in our program with various coaches. There will be an annual application process through our website, and we will choose the participants with our head coaches. While there will be a fee for the program, we are also going to offer scholarships.”

This year, the Programme of Excellence offers thirteen athletes from seven different nations, aged 17 to 21, help in preparation for a professional career. For the jumping riders, Jos Lansink is the head coach, while Isabell Werth guides the dressage riders in training sessions at the legendary Aachen showgrounds.

The 19-year-old Dutch rider Skye Morssinkhof is one of those lucky enough to participate in the program. “I think it is really special,” Skye says. “It is new, and I did not fully know what I was getting into. I think it is a great opportunity for me and my future in the showjumping world. We have a program of seven to eight sessions, and we get to compete at CHIO Aachen. You don’t get an opportunity to jump in a grass arena like that so often, it is a dream for so many riders.”

Photo © CHIO Aachen/ A.Steindl “I think every minute you train with Jos, you learn so much – after all, he is Jos Lansink and one of the best trainers you can possibly get,” Skye Morssinkhof tells WoSJ. Photo © CHIO Aachen/ A.Steindl.

“I already had two training sessions with Jos,” Skye explains. “I am super excited; I think the training with Jos is really good. And there is so much more: We have mental and physical training, we have sport check-ups to see where we can improve ourselves, we learn about nutrition as well as communication and media – so it is a lot more than just riding.”

“I think every minute you train with Jos, you learn so much – after all, he is Jos Lansink and one of the best trainers you can possibly get,” Skye continues. “For each training, we bring two horses, and we don’t bring a groom; we take care of our horses alone. The last two times, we had three days of training and the first days we did a lot of pole, technique and rideability training, and on the last day we built a course together. We filmed the rounds and analysed them together afterwards.”

“I think that for young riders, the program is a fantastic opportunity,” Jos Lansink tells World of Showjumping. “I hope I can give them the right tools in getting better and to support them. Every rider is different, every horse is different: What I see in front of me, I try to make that better. First of all, I want to give them confidence, then try to help them improve. We have a very nice group this year, just like last year. They are a serious group; they like to learn and they are positive. Many riders have their own system, but it is important to stay open. Everyone dreams about riding the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen, but it might not be this year, or on the horse you are on now; but for the future it is necessary to have the right knowledge in your luggage.”

“Through the Programme of Excellence, there is so much more that the riders can learn. It is all centred around showjumping though, from veterinary aspects to bookkeeping, simply everything. It is not just riding, but a whole program to make both the horse and the rider better – it is really a complete package,” Lansink closes off.  


No reproduction without written permission, © copyright World of


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