Equestrian stars of the future have today been given a major boost with the FEI Jumping Youth Nations Cup™ Final and four youth Championships in Reining and the Olympic disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing announced for 2018 in Belgium, France and the USA.

The allocation of these key events have come just a week after the FEI held its first ever youth session at the annual FEI Sports Forumattended by 250 sports experts and equestrian stakeholders from over 50 nations in the Olympic capital of Lausanne (SUI).

“Maximising opportunities for our young athletes to compete internationally is key to the growth of equestrian sport and so is creating the stepping stones to becoming a future Olympic and senior champion,” FEI President and IOC Member Ingmar De Vos said. “The youth are our future and are of central importance to the FEI and the equestrian community as a whole.”

Athletes aged between 12 to 21 years from around the world will compete at the five events allocated by the FEI Bureau, which is responsible for the general direction of the International Equestrian Federation (Fédération Equestre Internationale):

  • FEI Jumping Youth Nations Cup™ Final - Opglabbeek (BEL), 6-9 September

  • FEI Jumping North American Youth Championships and FEI Dressage North American Championship for Young Riders, Juniors & Children - North Salem (USA), 1-5 August

  • FEI Eventing North American Youth Championship - Kalispell (USA), 18-22 July

  • FEI Reining European Championship for Young Riders & Juniors - Lyon (FRA), 31 October-1 November

“The FEI is fully capitalising on youth-based events, engaging with young audiences and demonstrating the values of equestrian sport, and sport in general,” continued Ingmar De Vos.

“Youth is a principal pillar of Olympic Agenda 2020 and for the FEI has always been a major focus. Together with our 133 National Federations around the world we are focusing on creating the best opportunities for our young athletes to secure long and successful equestrian careers.”

FEI press release

image: young riders at this year edition of the FEI Sports Forum focused on Youth.