Friday, 31 May 2019 CSI5* CSI2* CSIYH1* 2019

From show jumping talent to superstar!

They have their own Instagram accounts and YouTube channels, they’re followed by a huge fan base and they’re often at least as well known as their riders: the best sport horses in the world. But how does “one of many horses” become tomorrow’s superstar? What distinguishes true championship horses and which aspects of their training really count? One aspect can be revealed straight away: it’s a mix of breeding experience, physical aptitude, talent, training, time and ideal management.

Searching for raw diamonds
Recognising a potential champion as early as possible is a skill commanded by a select few. Because even visually unremarkable young horses can have hidden superstar potential. Anyone allowing themselves to be distracted by an imposing style of jumping or top-class pedigree could pass up the chance of finding their own personal champion of the future. After all, good anatomy, coupled with an outstanding pedigree, does not inevitably yield a winning horse. Finding and building upon strengths – that’s the secret.

At the riding school
Training young horses demands lots of sensitivity, patience and time. Because only those who prepare their four-legged partners for their future tasks with a long-term perspective and the necessary foresight will enjoy success. What counts is finding the right balance between placing demands and giving support, as well as the right training plan with the “right” mix tailored precisely to the horse. Targeted practice movements in the dressage arena, varied rides in the countryside  and exercises over courses that give the horse self-confidence and motivation to work and learn, these are the essentials. Because in the absence of the right measure of rideability and dependable throughness, even the most talented of youngsters will not enjoy the sport for long.

Gaining tournament experience

Once the basics are in place, it’s time to master the first few courses with plenty of trust and without striving for quick wins or overtaxing rounds. A good rider should place the emphasis on giving the horse a sense of security whilst also allowing performance at a tournament to become a matter of course. Moreover, all of this without curbing that youthful joy of life. Because the more positive experience a horse gains on youngster tours, the easier will be the shift over to the “big league” . Here, steadily raising the level of difficulty without exceeding the limits of performance demands a high level of intuition. This way the talented youngsters can grow into their tasks and realise their full potential.

On the way to superstardom
If the rider has done everything right during training, maintained focus on the horse enjoying the sport, on management of health, with the right nutrition, farrier, massages etc. and quality care from the groom, they can then count on many years with a reliable partner in the sport. If, over and above the necessary talent over the course, additional traits like ambition, the will to win, a steady nerve and a strong personality are also present, the horse is well on the way to becoming a true champion.

What: International Show Jumping
When: 14-16/06/2019
VIP day tickets: to request please call +43 664 88 73 44 01
Free entry to all competition events

One shining example of the solid training of a young horse is Karel VDB, taken by Martin Fuchs (SUI) from youngster tours to top-class competition. © Cedric Vlemmings

Lauren Hough’s (GBR) Absolhut has also been successful in the Youngster Tour at GHPC Austria and is being carefully prepared for the most difficult course. © Cedric Vlemmings