YRA appoints Team 2024

YRA appoints Team 2024

Young Riders Academy announces Team 2024

Lugano, March 25th, 2024

This year YRA celebrates its 10th anniversary, kicking off with the selection of a new team in Peelbergen. The event witnessed the participation of a significant group of skilled riders from twelve countries, who took center stage under the attentive eyes of four outstanding champions and professionals in the sport: Otto Becker, Jeroen Dubbeldam, Emile Hendrix and YRA dearest Jean Maurice Bonneau.

To ensure a fair and unbiased evaluation process, all candidates were required to perform with both a young and an experienced horse during the two-day program, in classes reserved exclusively for YRA candidates.

After a careful evaluation of all applicants’ attitude, motivation, and technical abilities, the Selection Panel, along with the YRA Board, announced the official a young Riders Academy Team 2024.

Out of these participants, seven riders have been nominated for the Full Program team, namely Jenny Krogsaeter from Norway, Oliver Fletcher from the UK, Mathieu Bourdeaud’hui from Belgium, Rhys Williams from Ireland, Max Haunhorst from Germany, Iris Michels from the Netherlands, and Jules Van Hoydonck from Belgium.

Additionally, two talented riders have been selected for the Educational Program team: Mel Thijssen from the Netherlands, and Seamus Hughes Kennedy from Ireland.

“ It’s truly interesting to witness young riders from diverse nations, each with different ideas and different backgrounds, focusing on performing at their best in both riding and interviews. This unique opportunity to train with different professionals with different system, and among the best in the world, would undoubtedly provide them with a significant competitive advantage” Declared Jeroen Dubbeldam, who recently joined the Selection Panel for the first time.

Emile Hendrix, member of Selection Panel since its conception, explained that the YRA is always looking for riders who will make a difference in equestrian sport, as a top rider, top trainers, or professional horsemen “being a good rider is not enough anymore. The Selection Panel is searching for qualities that set the candidates apart, including talent, determination, feeling, and organization”.

Otto Becker, another member of the Selection Panel, stressed the importance of being special and “having that x-factor that distinguishes the top rider from the rest as riding properly is no longer sufficient”.

“ The standards are set high, but this year, our focus is streamlined to a select few. Our aim is to cultivate a new cohort of riders and individuals deeply committed to the equestrian industry, who prioritize excellence in sport and believe strongly in meritocracy. Talents that in the future may become part of committees and institutions with a fair vision and approach “ stated President of Athenaeum and YRA, Eleonora Ottaviani, who emphasized the importance of supporting riders not only in their technical skills but also in the management of the sport.

Words from just appointed YRA team ’24.

“It is everything I have ever dreamed of since I’ve been young, and I am more than ready to put my best foot forward. Seeing the world class riders that have graduated from the academy like Richard Vogel, Bertram Allen, Micheal Duffy, Harry Charles and Jack Whitaker, make me want to follow in their footsteps” Rhys Williams.

“I have been wanting to get on to this program for numerous years now and indeed I was very happy to get the call from my Federation. So now I’m ready to give my best” Oliver Fletcher.

“ Young Riders Academy has been known for me for many years and I’ve been following selected riders’ journey for the last five year. I’ve seen riders grow into big talents , opportunities of higher-level shows appeared and at least a social bond and a new little family every year. This is something I really want to be a part of !” Jenny Krogsaeter.

The Professionals training group for 2024, will involve Olympic riders and Olympic champions Jos Lansink, Franke Sloothaak, Marco Kutscher, Schröder’s brothers,  Rob Ehrens, Jens Fredricson and Rolf Goran Bengtsson.

The program will officially kick off with the first sporting event, which will be the clinic with Franke Sloothaak scheduled for mid-April at Peelbergen Equestrian Centre.

The education program, coordinated by project manager Valentina Ottaviani, will be launched in June at Franklin University Switzerland in Lugano, followed by additional sessions at Uppsala University in Sweden, FEI in Lausanne and Rolex Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Young Riders Academy is a program intended for talented young European show jumpers, in collaboration with the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) and supported by Rolex since its establishment in 2014. This program offers riders between the ages of 18 and 23 the opportunity to train for several months at a professional stable, while also receiving education in communication, business and economics, veterinary practice, and legal matters related to show jumping. The ultimate goal of the program is to develop future champions and leaders in the sport. 

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