The Youth Equestrian Games under the auspices of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) will be held this year on an exceptional basis, replacing the Youth Olympic Games, originally scheduled for 2022 and rescheduled for 2026. This unprecedented event will take place from 23 June to 3 July in Aachen. As for the tricolor, the national coach Olivier Bost and the federal team of sports coaches chose the young jumping rider Jeanne Hirel to defend the French color.
This show jumping event, in an unusual format for equestrian sports, will take place in parallel with the legendary CHIO in Aachen. Thirty riders will start in the team and individual events. Athletes between the ages of fifteen and eighteen will be required to ride horses provided for competition. This regulation is unprecedented in the sport of equestrianism as it is the only FEI Competition to date not to be practiced on an Athlete’s normal Steed. Each rider will draw his horse for the duration of the competition. In order to guarantee the welfare of the horses, sports integrity and the smooth running of the competition, the horses provided will obviously be experienced horses who have already competed in this type of competition, and the riders, accompanied by their trainers, will have five days, including three stages of training and an out-of-competition test, to familiarize yourself with your mount. On Tuesday, June 28, the opening ceremony will take place, and the start of the competition will be given the next day. As for the team competition, distances will be rated at 1.20m. The first round will take place on 29 June and the final will take place the following day. Teams are continental and consist of five pairs. To calculate the final result of the teams, the three best performances of the team members will be taken into account. The European team will consist of riders from Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain and Greece. July 1 will be a day off for the participants. The Competition Jury will re-examine the Horses to ensure their ability to continue in the Individual Class. At a distance of 1.30 m, young riders will compete in a round and a jump-off scheduled for 2 July.
Zhanna Yrel will defend the tricolor flag
France has secured a place at the 2021 European Junior Championships. Following a selection made by national youth coach Olivier Bost and the federal sports coaching team, Jeanne Yrel has been selected to represent France at this year’s Youth Equestrian Games.
This seventeen-year-old rider hails from Lavor in Tarn and is licensed in the Jump des Bois Écurie Pelat in Vacquier, located in the Haute-Garonne. in teams, won in 2021 with Veduz de Nestin, as well as an individual bronze medal with Armene du Costlig in 2019 at the European Pony Championship. On this occasion, the young rider confided in the editorial staff of the French Riding Federation during an interview.
What do you like most as a racer?
I love the connection with the horse, the relationship we develop with it. I also love the competition, the adrenaline it gives, and the fact that I am progressing in my riding through the seasons.
What does this selection represent for the Youth Equestrian Games?
It is a great honor for me to represent France. And in addition to competing in Aix-la-Chapelle, which is a mythical venue with all the great drivers, this is a great opportunity.
How do you perceive this championship?
I tell myself to have fun and not push myself too hard. There will inevitably be something on D-Day, so I won’t add anything. I will give my all and do my best.
How do you prepare for the idea of riding an unfamiliar horse?
This is what I’m looking forward to. This will definitely be the only time in my career and I think it will be very helpful. This year I have switched to riding, riding many different horses and always trying to find a balance with each horse.
What is your favorite horse style?
I really like horses that have blood. I like that they are smart, a bit feline, because they are often able to outdo themselves in trials.
How are you doing this first year on horseback?
This is very different from pony competitions where young people of the same age compete. Now I ride with professionals who have a lot of experience. I started the CSI 2* Grand Prix at 1.45m and also compete in Grand Nationals. I like to take the time to watch riders work with their horses, see how they organize their day at competitions, etc.
What riders do you admire?
I really like the American rider Busy Madden, she is one with her horses, everything looks easy when you see her on the track. As for the French, I especially like Megan Moissonnier. She has very good riding skills and the fact that she is so young in the most important Cups of Nations with France makes me want to follow her example.
What sport do you do besides riding?
I do English boxing. I did it for three seasons and really enjoyed it. I would like to resume next year in parallel with horse riding, it allows me to vent my emotions.
What is your dream of riding?
Participate in the Olympics!