Great Britain, Germany Programs for Transition of Youth to Senior Levels & Equestrian Business

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Hayley Watson-Greaves riding Rubins Nite. File photo © Ken Braddick/

July 4, 2017

A new program was announced by the British Equestrian Federation Tuesday to help athletes move out of youth levels to keep them in the wider equestrian sport network while a series of competitions has been launched in Germany to achieve similar goals.

The British program, funded by Sport England and focused on the three Olympic disciplines of dressage, eventing and jumping, is designed to support individual personal development, career planning and enhancement over 12 months.

The aim is to provide high caliber and ambitious athletes aged 19 to 26 for what the federation calls a “wider and well-adapted skill-set that builds their confidence for continued work to thrive and earn a living in the equine industry.”

Up to eight core sessions will cover topics ranging from business management and business operations to media awareness, personal development and career enhancement.

“To learn how to run a business and manage the media at such a young age is fantastic and these are key parts of what will fund your riding at the end of the day,” said Dressage rider Hayley Watson-Greaves. “It is important to find out as much information as you can about these things as it is not easy.”

Applications for the inaugural program are open through the month of August. A short list of potential candidates will be invited to attend a training day with: Oct. 10 the Eilbergs; Oct. 24 Sarah Millis, and Oct. 25 Emile Faurie.

Mareike Flege and Walentina in the Derby Dressage Cup in Dortmund, Germany. © 2017 Thomas Hartwig

In Germany, the inaugural year of a new national series, the Derby Dressage Cup, is underway targeting promotion of young dressage riders to develop future top athletes. The second of four events, Bettenröder Dressurtage, is being staged this week with 37 combinations from across Germany competing.

The series is at Intermediate A and B for riders aged 18 to under-25 riders as well as older riders with young horses. The debut event was the Signal Iduna Cup in Dortmund in March. After the Bettenröder Dressurtage this week, next on the schedule is the Agravis Cup at Oldenburg Nov. 2-5 with the final at the K + K Cup in Münster Jan. 10-14, 2018.

After Münster, grants are awarded for further development of successful combinations.

“The series is about helping young talent faced with the decision to pursue a career in the performance of the sport or devote themselves more to study for a professional career,” explained Dr. Hans-Peter Karp, managing director of Derby Spezialfutter GmbH.