August 3 through 6, the world’s best young dressage horses descend on Ermelo to vie for the world championship. The coveted title is up for grabs in the five-, six- and seven-year-old age category. The program additionally features a class for four-year-old horses and a Grand Prix. Dressage horse enthusiasts are heartily invited to the fifth WC for Young Dressage Horses in Ermelo.
Unprecedented number of dressage athletes
The WC Young Dressage Horses is unique among its peers. There are few other events that treat the audience to so much dressage sports. Even more so, it is one of the few ‘dressage only’ events. The horses compete for the honour in two arenas. It provides an excellent opportunity to follow the development of the world’s best young dressage horses.
Strong Dutch team
Super talents ridden by top-notch riders. The Dutch team heads for Ermelo with a strong squad. Hans Peter Minderhoud has multiple irons in the fire as he presents Massimo (s.Glock’s Toto Jr.), My Toto (s.Glock’s Toto Jr.) and Las Vegas (s.Ferdeaux). Femke de Laat and Pavo Cup winner Nashville SW (s.Secret) are also set to the shine in the arena. As always, we may look forward to seeing big names such as Dinja van Liere, Charlotte Fry and Kirsten Brouwer. These riders secured one of the prestigious medals during prior editions and are determined on mounting those podium steps again this year. “Given the quality of the horses and the experience of the selected riders, we have high expectations for this championship”, says Johan Hamminga, member of the selection committee that was further comprised of Veronique Roerink and Emmelie Scholtens. “After three selection dates, the remaining group of horses leads us to believe they can do very well at the championship. The WC for Young Dressage Horses is not solely about the quality of the horse, the technical side of the test and the submission and harmony also play a major role. One cannot predict what international jury members will think of a specific horse, but we do know that a horse which has three solid gaits and which is relaxed and in harmony with its rider, is sure to rank high.”
Reunion of champions
In 2022, the gold medal came as a surprise for Victoria E. Vallentin and her Lynnbjergs St. Paris (Blue Hors St. Schufro). It had not fully dawned on Vallentin in the press conference. “When the crowd started cheering on our last line, I thought to myself ‘this might have been a good test’. But I never expected it, it feels like a dream. She is so easy to ride, I am not even sweating”, she quipped. It was a fairytale come to life for the Danish rider and her horse. “I ride a lot of horses, but she is very special to me. I purchased her as a two-year-old out of the field and have always ridden her myself. We have decided to keep her for a long time, so this is very special.” In 2023 the combination returns to Ermelo, this time entering the championship as the tipped favourites.
The WC in Ermelo
In 2016, the world championship returned to the Netherlands after being hosted by Germany for nearly 20 years. Crowds from all over the globe flocked to Ermelo to indulge in dressage sport for four days. The enthusiasm of the participants and spectators did not remain unnoticed by the FEI, allowing the event to again be held in Ermelo from 2017 until 2019. In 2023 and 2024 we get to enjoy the thrilling battle between the world’s best young dressage horses in Ermelo once more. Do not forget to save the date for 2024, as the championship is brought forward on the calendar due to the Olympic Games. The next WC for Young Dressage Horses in Ermelo is scheduled for 18-21 July 2024.
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Photo: Dirk Caremans/HippoFoto.be