A new competition for young showjumpers is being organised in Germany next year, with total prizemoney of €150,000 ($NZ242,000; $US175,000).
The Hetzel Jumping Championship for Young Horses aged five, six and seven is the brainchild of Holger Hetzel, one of the most experienced show jumpers, trainers and tournament organizers in Germany.
“High-quality young jumping horses are our area of expertise and our vocation. That’s why we want to hold a championship that is absolutely unique in Germany and gives them the opportunity to showcase their talent in age-appropriate classes,” Holger said.
The prize money for the event in Goch, near the Dutch border, will no doubt be an attraction, with a prize pool of €25,000 for the five-year-olds, €50,000 for the six-year-olds, and €75,000 for the seven-year-olds.
On the championship weekend of August 4 to 7, 2022, there will be two qualifier classes on a time and penalty basis. The horses with clear rounds in both classes qualify for the finale with a jump-off.
The competition is open to horses from any breeding region in Germany and abroad, and to riders with a German competition licence or a guest license.
Holger is also gearing up for his 16th annual International Sport Horse Sale next month. The sale was cancelled in 2020 because of Covid-19 restrictions.
“Two years have given us plenty of time to source some fantastic youngsters, and to bring them on without any rush. Now they’re ready to excel,” Hetzel said.
“It’s becoming increasingly important to find and train talented horses at a young age. Especially in today’s world when genuinely top-quality adult horses are scarce and selling for exorbitant prices.”
Beauville Z is an example of Holger’s theory on developing young horses. He was sold at the 2016 Sport Horse Sales, and earlier this year was ridden to a bronze medal by Dutch rider Maikel van der Vleuten at the Tokyo Olympics.
This year’s auction on November 24 includes 21 five to eight-year-old horses, some with already impressive competition track records and all with the best European pedigrees. There will be a presentation event on November 21, where try-outs can be arranged.