Adventure begins for Maleah Lang-McMahon at FEI Youth Equestrian Games
Maleah Lang McMahon and ‘borrowed horse’ Calypso Du Buguet. Photo credit: Kirsty Pasto – Australian Equestrian Team.
As a replacement for the Youth Olympic Games, the FEI Youth Equestrian Games are being staged during the CHIO Aachen 2022. Some 30 teenage athletes from 30 nations across six continents will participate in the event at the iconic German venue from June 28 to July 3. The Youth Equestrian Games replaces the scheduled 2022 Youth Olympic Games, which has been postponed until 2026.
This historic event for the youth equestrian community will showcase 30 athletes, aged between 15 and 18 years, who will compete in both Individual and continental Team Jumping competitions. There are six continental teams each containing five athletes – Africa, North and South America, Asia, Australia and Europe.
The Individual classification will be contested on Saturday, July 2. One round will be judged under Table A not against the clock with a jump-off against the clock in case of equality of penalties for the podium places.
We wish Maleah all the best for the competition ahead and are sure that she will do Australia proud!
About the Horses
The 30 athletes will each ride unfamiliar horses – assigned by a random draw and supplied by the organising committee. The draw takes place on June 23 — some six days before the competition starts.
They will have three training days and a welcome competition – outside of the official programme – to strengthen their bond and forge a solid partnership. There are no specific rules as regards to familiarisation with the exception of the very specific format of each training session. Each training session will be under the supervision of the event’s Horse Expert (the person who is in charge of all the borrowed horses, looking after their wellbeing, feeding, etc.) and the FEI.
The rules are that the horses must be at least seven years old and can come from any sources — such as private owners or National Federations. However, they must be adequate both in their performance aptitudes (must successfully compete at 1m30 minimum) and temperament to ensure ridebility.
For the YEG in Aachen, the organisers employed professional rider Holger Hetzel to find the horses, calling out to his various contacts. Mr Hetzel, the organisers and the FEI have taken part in the selection process with the final decision left in the hands of Mr Hetzel, who will be in charge of looking after the borrowed horses with his team during the event.
The horses were presented in Aachen on 24 May as part of the selection process. The horses were ridden in the main arena over a course of nine obstacles (including one combination) to evaluate their technical level and temperament.