FEI Youth Equestrian Games 2022: The Ultimate Guide
27 May 2022
All you need to know ahead of Aachen...
The FEI Youth Equestrian Games will bring together fabulous young Jumping talents from around the world in Aachen.
Some 30 teenage athletes from 30 nations across six continents will participate in the event at the iconic German venue from June 28 to July 3. The Youth Equestrian Games replaces the scheduled 2022 Youth Olympic Games, which has been postponed until 2026.
Here’s what you need to know about the FEI Youth Equestrian Games…
What is the FEI Youth Equestrian Games?
This historic event for the youth equestrian community will showcase 30 athletes, aged between 15 and 18 years, who will compete in both Individual and continental Team Jumping competitions.
Following the postponement of the quadrennial Youth Olympic Games in Dakar to 2026, the FEI requested the IOC to organise an alternative event to be held in 2022. In agreement with the IOC, the Youth Equestrian Games, built around the same principles as YOG, is being staged to avoid young athletes being negatively impacted by the absence of the Youth Olympic Games.
The Youth Olympic Games has been an important rite of passage for many equestrian stars since it was launched in 2010, with Martin Fuchs among those to have competed. Italy’s Giacomo Casadei won the 2018 Individual gold.
Who will be taking part? The qualified nations for 2022 are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Iran, Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Palestine, Paraguay, Qatar, South Africa, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, USA, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe. Each of the 30 competing nations will select the athlete that will represent them in early June. To fulfil the Youth Equestrian Games qualification criteria, athletes were required to complete two rounds of competition over the same pre-determined course, with identical distance and height specifications. How is the competition run? The FEI Youth Equestrian Games comprises a Team and Individual competition. There are six continental teams each containing five athletes – Africa, North and South America, Asia, Australia and Europe. The event kicks off on Wednesday, June 29, with the first round of the Team competition. The decisive second round will be held on the Thursday (June 30), after which the winning team will be crowned. The best three results per team count in each round (there are two drop scores per team). Only one competitor per team will take part in the possible jump-off. The Individual classification will be contested on Saturday, July 2. One round will be judged under Table A not against the clock with a jump-off against the clock in case of equality of penalties for the podium places. What about the horses? The 30 athletes will each ride unfamiliar horses – assigned by a random draw and supplied by the organising committee. The draw takes place on June 23 -- some six days before the competition starts. They will have three training days and a welcome competition – outside of the official programme – to strengthen their bond and forge a solid partnership. There are no specific rules as regards to familiarisation with the exception of the very specific format of each training session. Each training session will be under the supervision of the event's Horse Expert (the person who is in charge of all the borrowed horses, looking after their wellbeing, feeding, etc.) and the FEI. The rules are that the horses must be at least seven years old and can come from any sources -- such as private owners or National Federations. However, they must be adequate both in their performance aptitudes (must successfully compete at 1m30 minimum) and temperament to ensure ridebility. For the YEG in Aachen, the organisers employed professional rider Holger Hetzel to find the horses, calling out to his various contacts. Mr Hetzel, the organisers and the FEI have taken part in the selection process with the final decision left in the hands of Mr Hetzel, who will be in charge of looking after the borrowed horses with his team during the event. The horses were presented in Aachen on 24 May as part of the selection process. The horses were ridden in the main arena over a course of nine obstacles (including one combination) to evaluate their technical level and temperament. Where can I watch the FEI Youth Equestrian Games? The competitions will be on FEI TV as well as our social media pages. Make sure you tune into check out the stars of the future!