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Young Riders Academy Team 2018 graduates in Geneva

Friday, 08 March 2019
YRA Corner

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

The Young Riders Academy team of 2018 has graduated. For this fifth edition, and as per YRA’s official program, the team was welcomed at the FEI Headquarters in Lausanne by President Ingmar De Vos, then in Geneva at the Rolex Headquarters by the sponsoring group to end with the Reward Ceremony.

In 2018, the Young Riders Academy team has consisted of: Harry Charles, GBR; Ventsislav Izov, BUL; Lisa Nooren, NED; Jenny Rankin, IRL; Lisa Ulven, NOR; Chloe Whinchester, GBR; Pieter Clemens, BEL; Guido Franchi, ITA; Matteo Leonardi, ITA; Dimme d´Haese, BEL; Christopher Kläsener, GER; and Darragh Ryan, IRL.

“Since the beginning, our main goal has been, and still is, to make these girls and boys aware of what a great champion needs in terms of skills, knowledge, fair play and ethics,” Eleonora Ottaviani, Athenaeum President, said. “We’ve tried to contribute to the training of young athletes eager to learn, to grow, to be part of a team. Athletes prepared to put themselves under discussion, ready to accept diversity and enthusiastic about building something together,” Ottaviani continued. “And this 2018 team indeed met expectations as the previous ones.” 

“I think this is a very motivating project where we, as young riders, receive a lot of support on the sport side. We have the chance to participate at the biggest events in the world and we get training from the best. Next to the riding part we are offered the educational session on key topics such as veterinary, contamination and doping issues, legal aspects, economics; all very important subjects in our sport. I am very thankful to all the people that are standing behind YRA to make all this happen!“ Pieter Clemens stated after the ceremony.

“We have seen how training must be organized individually both in quality and quantity. We are so grateful to “our main trainers”, Jos Lansink, Franke Sloothaak, Marco Kutscher, Jean-Maurice Bonneau and Ben Schröder who share their experiences and deep knowledge not only on how to ride but also on how to manage the sport,” Sport Manager Sven Holmberg said. 

Emile Hendrix, as part of Selection Panel, came with a recommendation to riders: “I would like to give some advice to the privileged riders who were chosen over the last five years. Always be thankful and respectful to your parents, owners, sponsors, everyone who is part of your team and last but not least your horses. I would like you to remind the following quote: Don’t ask what the horse can do for you but ask what you can do for your horse and feel blessed every day that you’re able to get back into the saddle.”



The Young Riders Academy is a program conceived for European 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.

Founded in 2014 by Athenaeum, a non-profit association, the program will give European talented riders between the ages of 18 and 23 the chance to train for a long period at a well-known professional stable. In addition, professional education in communication, business and economics, veterinary and legal practice related to showjumping. The objective is to develop future champions as well as potential managers of this sport.


Source: Press release from YRA

Photo © YRA/Fabio Petroni 

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