Young Riders Academy Team 2017 accomplished the program and graduates in Geneva

Athenaeum Board in Geneva just graduated athletes from fourth year of a young Riders Academy program.

Press Release

Lugano, March 12th 2018.

Francesca Ciriesi (ITA), Kendra Brinkop (GER), Michael G Duffy (IRL), Matt Garrigan (IRL),  Adam Grzegorzewski (POL), Guido Klatte (GER), Niklas Krieg (GER), Karin Martinsen (SWE), Andrzej Oplatek (POL)  are the riders from team 2017 who just received the prestigious Award.

The team, again for this edition as per YRA official program, had been welcomed at Fei Headquarters in Lausanne, then the visit to Rolex headquarters in Geneva to learn about sponsoring and partnerships to end with the Reward Ceremony.

At the time, few years ago, when we started to consider this project, we would never have imagined to end up dealing with such a scenario. We were not expecting to live and enjoy so many exciting situations with these athletes, as we actually are” states Eleonora Ottaviani, member of the board and one of the founders of a young Riders Academy project.

“Our goal, with the support of the best professionals, is to make these guys and girls aware of what a great champion needs as extensive knowledge in veterinary, anti-doping, legal issues, fair play and ethics, marketing, business and economics; to allow them to live next to their idols for a period of time and to give them the chance of entering showgrounds all athletes dream of.  To watch them coming out with a smile of satisfaction, to perceive their happiness and gratitude …all this is priceless!” closes Ottaviani.

“The Program has improved my knowledge on horses and stable management and the time spent at Henk Nooren’s had been just invaluable as a rider” commented Francesca Ciriesi. 

“It takes more than being a rider to become a champion” remarked Michael G Duffy immediately after the Diploma’s ceremony “ today at Rolex HQ the management declared their success over many years is down to attention for details and I believe the same rule applies for success in showjumping” stated Duffy.

At the end of its fourth edition this project met the endorsement of Federations, Top Riders, Organizers and Sponsors. Thanks to the partnership with Franklin University in Switzerland, University of Uppsala in Sweden, EPFL Polytechnic of Lausanne and key experts in show jumping it was possible to create a link between this sport and scientific and cultural environment.

In few weeks there will be 2018 selections in Arezzo and Redefine and other riders will be designated; this does not mean that the current team will be part of the past.

“During the year in the Academy, riders meet each other and, hopefully, a friendship is established, creating group to trust and to share everything with. What we have done in past is to start the process of building bridges between different years” explained Sven Holmberg sport director, “we have invited riders from all years to common clinics in Opglabbeek, under the guidance of Jos Lansink, in Balve with a training by Franke Sloothaak. Once a rider enters the program and achieves it, he will permanently be part of our team, because a YRA team member will always be a member and during the years to come we will continue to build on this concept to strengthen the bonds in our family”. 

The young Riders Academy is a program conceived for European talented young show jumpers, under the patronage of the European Equestrian Federation (EEF), with the cooperation of the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) and the support of Rolex.

Founded in 2014 by Athenaeum, a non-profit association, the program will give European talented riders between the ages of 18 and 23 the chance to train for a long period at a well-known professional stable. In addition, professional education in communication, business and economics, veterinary and legal practice related to show jumping. The objective is to develop future champions as well as potential managers of this sport.



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Images: John Roche, Riders Academy team 2017, Eleonora Ottaviani, Giuseppe Bianchi and Sven Holmberg.

Credit: YRA Fabio Petroni