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The Young Riders Academy announces their teams for 2023

Monday, 20 March 2023

Photo © YRA/Fabio Petroni Photo © YRA/Fabio Petroni

The Young Riders Academy has announced their selection for 2023. 

Of the 25 candidates that participated at the selection event at Peelbergen Equestrian Centre, six were nominated for the full YRA program: Thibeau Spits (BEL), Hannes Ahlmann (GER), Sean Monaghan (IRL), Lars Kersten (NED), Mira Oliva Høidal (NOR) and Robert Murphy (GBR).

Five riders were selected for the YRA educational program: Thibault Philippaerts (BEL), Tereza Svobodova (CZE), Niamh McEvoy (IRL), Egor Shchibrik (PLE) and Lily Attwood (GBR).

The Selection Panel consisted of Otto Becker, Emile Hendrix and Thierry Pomel, along with the YRA Board. “The level of applicants has been continuously rising, and being a good rider is not enough anymore," Hendrix said. "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."

Otto Becker emphasized that riding properly with good distances is no longer sufficient. He stressed the importance of being special and “having that x-factor that distinguishes the top rider from the rest."

Finally, Thierry Pomel, who recently joined the selection group, expressed his admiration for the candidates’ great level and highlighted the unique opportunity they would have to train with different professionals and among the best in the world. “This will undoubtedly provide them with a significant competitive advantage,” he said.

The 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, the Schröder-brothers, Rob Ehrens, Laura Kraut and Nick Skelton, as well as Jens Fredricson. 

The YRA team will gather for their first sport clinic, led by Franke Sloothaak, on April 17th in Peelbergen.

The educational program will be launched in June at Franklin University in Lugano, Switzerland, followed by additional sessions at Uppsala University in Sweden, Cadre Noir de Saumur in France, the FEI in Lausanne as well as the Rolex headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.


*The Young Riders Academy is a program conceived for European talented young show jumpers with the cooperation of the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) and the support of Rolex since its first edition. Founded in 2014 by Athenaeum, a non-profit association, the program will offer talented riders between the ages of 18 and 23 the chance to train for several months at an international professional stable. On top, qualified education in communication, business & economics, veterinary and legal practice related to show jumping. The objective is to develop future champions and potential managers of this sport.

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