Ali Alkharafi and Bisous Van Overis Z winners of the Children class on Saturday. ©Sportfot
The CSI August has come to an end, and so did the first leg of the Youth Grand Slam 2023.
Peelbergen Equestrian Center proudly hosted the launch of this new series aimed at nurturing and supporting emerging talent in equestrian sports.
The Youth Grand Slam was born from the collaboration between three popular European venues, who got together to create a project where children, juniors and young riders compete for once-in-a-lifetime prizes, including access to 5 stars shows, financial aid, and invites for clinics held by legends of the sport.
After this weekend’s first leg in Peelbergen, where young athletes could get a taste of what possibly awaits them next year, at the FEI Jumping European Championships Youth 2024, riders will move to Slovakia to the official Olympic training centre, X-Bionic Sphere in Šamorín, on September 7-10. The series will then end on October 5-8, 2023, in the Equieffe Equestrian Centre in Gorla Minore, home of the FEI Jumping European Championships Youth 2023.
Weekend Results at Peelbergen Equestrian Center
The first leg of the Youth Grand Slam saw Logan Fiechter and Kordaat dominating the Young Riders category, with Yannick Janssen van Grunsven with Lugaignac des Pouplis standing out with a win on the last day. The Junior category saw Grete Veske winning on the first two days, first with Basic, then with Graal, only to leave space for Yves Willems’s win on Highway on saturday. The same pattern repeated in the Children Category, with Ella Wolleswinkel and Capone winning two days in a row, and Ali Alkharafi with Bisous Van Overis Z stealing them the chance for a hat trick on Saturday.
These results will add up in a scoring system that will proclaim the winners during the final in Italian Equieffe Equestrian Centre in Gorla Minore.
Beyond titles: prizes that matter
The Youth Grand Slam is not only about competition; it’s about offering a once in a lifetime chance to exceptional prizes.
Winners of each category will gain access and financial support for top sport events across Europe like CSI5* W Verona and CSI5* Geneva, and clinics conducted by legends of the sport: Albert Voorn for the Children, Juan Carlos Garcia for the Juniors and Young Riders, and for the best among the Young Riders, a two-week intensive training at Olympic medalist Gerco Schroder stable.
Besides the prizes, the experience itself is already a growing opportunity, explains Gerco Schroder, ambassador of the Youth Grand Slam 2023.
“The Youth Grand Slam gives them the opportunity to compete at top shows with great riders. When I was young I learned a lot from that, simply by going to nice places and looking at better riders: just from watching them you can already learn so much”.
Youth Grand Slam 2023 Ambassador Gerco Schröder and Peelbergen Managing Director Ken Ruysen. ©Matilde Tarchiani
“The series gives an incredible all round experience, and this is the whole concept. It is not only about competing at these great venues with riders like Gerco, Martin Fuchs, Harry Charles, during an international senior event, it is also about getting real support in their growth, from internships up to financial help.”
Says Ken Ruysen, Managing Director of Peelbergen Equestrian Center.
“Peelbergen Equestrian Center strives to not be merely a competition venue but to take an active role in supporting and encouraging this kind of initiatives that we strongly believe can grow our sport even further.”
Find the complete results here: https://online.equipe.com/en/competitions/57151
Follow the Youth Grand Slam on their official Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/grand_slam_youth/