World Young Horse Championships Attract Record Number of Nations

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Sezuan, the 2014 five-year-old World Young Horse Champion, ridden by Dorothee Schneider. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Sezuan, the 2014 five-year-old World Young Horse Champion, ridden by Dorothee Schneider. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

VERDEN, Germany, July 30, 2015–A record 23 nations have entered 84 horses and 70 riders in the FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses next week with 2014 five-year-old champion Sezuan ridden by Dorothee Schneider of Germany returning for the six-year-old division.

The championships will be at Verden, Germany where it has been for 16 of the last 18 years before it moves to Ermelo, the Netherlands for at least three years along with an expanded program by adding a seven-year-old division.

Germany, as expected, has the biggest contingent with 16 horses followed by the Netherlands with 12, Sweden eight, Belgium six, Austria and Denmark each with five, Spain four, Finland, France and Hungary each with three, Czech Republic, Estonia, Great Britain, Norway, Portugal and the United States each with two and Australia, Lithuania, Morocco, New Zealand, Russia, Switzerland and Ukraine each with one.

New Zealand is competing for the first time with Shiwon Green to ride her five-year-old F 1.

The number of nations competing in the championships has grown in small steps over the past 10 years, hovering around 17 to 22 nations except for 2014 when the number of nations represented at Verden dipped to 15 when the event was followed two weeks later by the World Equestrian Games.

Ingrid Klimke celebrating world six-year-old championship at Verden, Germany in 2006. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Ingrid Klimke celebrating world six-year-old championship at Verden, Germany in 2006. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Among the most famous horses to emerge from the championships was Damon Hill that was ridden by Ingrid Klimke at the championships for the 2006 title then taken over by Helen Langehanenberg who won Olympic team silver and World Games and European Championship team gold and the British-bred Woodlander Farouche ridden by Michael Eilberg.