Final fever in the BEMER Young Riders Tour — decision still open

Final fever in the BEMER Young Riders Tour — decision still open

(Opglabbeek) SenTower Park equestrian centre in Opglabbeek, Belgium, is the venue for the eighth and final stop of the BEMER Young Riders Tour this week. The new international series for the U21 generation is experiencing its second season finale and after the BEMER Young Riders Grand Prix on Friday, 15 September, there will not only be another station winner, but it will also be clear who the new “Young Rider of the Year” is. After seven exciting stops all over Europe, Jessica Hewlett is still leading the overall ranking with 46 points. With her successful horse Ilmar HBC, the 21-year-old Brit placed at three stations and was even victorious in Lamprechtshausen, Austria. However, her ten-year-old Dantos HBC x Voltaire gelding is getting a well-deserved rest at the moment, leaving the door open for some of her pursuers in the ranking.

Schildknecht motivated

One of them is Joana Schildknecht from Switzerland. Fourth place or better in Friday’s rating competition would give her the necessary points to win the overall title. She is currently in second place in the Young Riders Tour Ranking with 34 points. Schildknecht will bring her top horse Napoleon C, which she has had in her stable for four years and to whom she has a special connection: “In the beginning, no one from my family really believed in him except me. He is a fighter and never lets you down.” The pair did not prepare for the final station any differently than usual she tells — quite a lot of variety with fitness training, paddock time, dressage work and some jumping — but the prospect of winning the BEMER Young Riders Tour offers extra motivation. “I was very surprised and pleased because I didn’t expect second place in the Tour at all. The series is very cool, it motivates me every time to do my best in a Young Riders Grand Prix. It is also very interesting to see how the points list changes when you don’t compete in all the rating competitions,” said the 21-year-old rider from Eggersriet. 

Starting places beckon as a prize

Hot on her heels is a field of competitors that is as ambitious as it is strong and that will be fighting for a top place in the BEMER Young Riders Tour. 15 points or better, that is the magic number in the current ranking that the Young Riders should already have in order to achieve a podium finish. Among the 88 riders from 15 nations competing in Opglabbeek, Leon Brutsaert from Belgium (23 points), Mie Stuhr-Petersen from Denmark (20), Oliver Pisarik from the Czech Republic (19), the Swiss Gilles Müller (17) and the Italian Martina Simoni (15) have this. The final of the BEMER Young Riders Tour is not about winning a silver trophy, but rather about particularly valuable future opportunities. The top three riders in the overall standings will receive starting places at international shows in the following year, depending on their respective ranking. Up for selection are the eight renowned CSI events that hosted the BEMER Riders Tour this year. This builds bridges into the senior sport, enlarges the talent pool in show jumping and is entirely in line with the Riders Tour philosophy. There will be a reunion with the “Young Rider of the Year 2023” and the Vice-Champion at Horses & Dreams in Hagen a.T.W. from 24 – 28 April 2024, where the start is obligatory.

Numerous talents will meet in Opglabbeek, but only one U21 rider will become “Young Rider of the Year”. will broadcast the Young Rider Qualifier on Thursday and the CSIOY Grand Prix on Friday live. 

Ranking of the BEMER Young Riders Tour after seven of eight stops

1. Jess Hewlett (GBR), 46 Punkte
2. Thibault Keller (SUI), 34
2. Joana Schildknecht (SUI), 34
4. Lucie Martino (FRA), 25
5. David Moser (AUT), 24
6. Leon Brutsaert (BEL), 23
7. Marie Christine Sebesta (AUT), 21
7. Sophia Kelly (GBR), 21
9. Géraldine Straumann (SUI), 20
9. Mie Stuhr Petersen (DEN), 20
9. Shirel Shornoz (SUI), 20
9. Ansgar Holtgers Jr (USA), 20
13. Oliver Pisarik (CZE), 19

Caption: Joana Schildknecht from Switzerland is currently in second place in the Riders Tour Ranking with 34 points. Schildknecht will bring her top horse Napoleon C to the final in Opglabbeek © Katja Stuppia