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Young Riders Academy announces 2017-team

Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Young Riders Academy 2017

The Young Riders Academy (YRA) Selection Panel – consisting of Jean Maurice Bonneau, Dirk Demeersman, Emile Hendrix and sports manager Sven Holmberg – have together with the YRA Board, selected the 2017-teams after having evaluated all candidates’ attitude, capabilities, motivation together with their technical skills and competition results.

Five riders out of 26 made it to Full Program-team, while another five are entered in this year Educational Program-squad. This year the Board and the Selection Panel have had an even more challenging task in choosing the final line-up. "National Federations again presented a group of athletes remarkably motivated with a good technical side,” commented Sport Manager Sven Holmberg.

The Full Program offers a long stay (about six months) of tailor-made training and boarding at a renowned professional stable and includes qualified education in communication, business and economics, veterinary and legal practice connected to showjumping.

The Educational Program-team will gather during the year for the 4-5 academic sessions – on the above topics, this group will also benefit from YRA support during jumping seasons which consists in clinics, sport training and shows invitations.

Clinics during the year will be held by Jean Maurice Bonneau, Jos Lansink, Rodrigo Pessoa and Franke Sloothaak, while the trainers for the full program are going to be: Marcus Beerbaum, Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, Henk Nooren, Marco Kutscher, Ben Gerco and Wim Schröder. Gianluca Bormioli will also for this edition support the group of trainers.

The riders selected for the Full Program are: Francesca Ciriesi (ITA), Matt Garrigan (IRL), Adam Grzegorzewski (POL), Guido Klatte (GER) and Andrzej Oplatek (POL).

The riders selected for the Educational Program are: Kendra Brinkop (GER), Michael G Duffy (IRL), Niklas Krieg (GER), Karin Martinsen (SWE) and Karen Polle (JPN) – the latter an official representative for non-European countries.

“We want to thank all European National Federations for their support, their growing interest in this project – it is a great honour for all of us,” declared Eleonora Ottaviani, President of the Board. 

Both teams will meet in Lugano in mid-June for the 2017 program kick off at Franklin University of Switzerland.


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 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. On top of that, 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.

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