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On 7 and 8 September, the 3rd stage of the School of Young Riders concourse cup took place at the School of Young Riders Sports Centre in Zustrenes, Inčukalns municipality. This competition closed the year’s active season, determining the winners of the School of Young Riders concourse tournament, 2019 Rider of the Year, in five categories.
The 2019 Best Rider title went to Sintija Semeņkova of JSK “Kriķi”, having won 1st place in the general assessment across the three stages and leaving behind Aigars Bregže from ZS “Lielceri” in the 2nd spot and Aleksandrs Šakurovs of JSK “Rīga” in the 3rd.
The School of Young Riders concourse tournament’s best rider of 2019 aged 16 or less and riding group I and group II ponies, is Luīze Lamberte of ZS “Tīraines staļļi”, winning her the grand prize – a trip to Vienna. The proud winner will travel to Vienna with “Vanilla Travel”, visiting the Spanish Riding School, which is the only one in the world (according to the UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage of Humanity List) practicing classical horseback riding for over 450 years. Elza Buša of JSK “Īriss”, and Estonian Karita Beilman placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
The School of Young Riders concourse tournament gave the title of 2019 Best Rider Aged 16 or Less to Kristina Zomera no JSK “Mustangs”, with Odrija Roberta Brālēna of Z/A “Kocēni” and Ance Anna Katkovska of “Jauno Jātnieku skola” as the first and second runners-up.
The School of Young Riders tournament 1st prize for 2019 Best Rider of a Horse Aged up to 5 went to Terēze Zalte riding Jakarta ME for the Golden Equestrian Team, the 2nd prize to Heiki Vatsel from Estonia and her steed Jabalou, and the 3rd prize was awarded to Elizabete Krista Juraša riding AndžellaN for the Golden Equestrian Team.
The School of Young Riders concourse tournament’s category 2019 Rider of the Year Aged 25 or Less awarded Sabīne Siliņa of JSK “Mežstrazdiņi”, Elizabete Krista Juraša of the Golden Equestrian Club, and Laura Penele of ZS “Lielceri” coming in with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes, respectively.
The School of Young Riders member of the board and competition organiser Elīna Dzenuško commented on the 2019 season: “I am happy about this season, the large number of riders we have had, especially the younger generation, who have proven to us that equestrian sports are developing at a professional level as well as among hobbyist riders.
With this season’s competition, we are glad to have introduced the EQUIPE system, which vastly simplifies the work of the organisers as well as the riders, who can easily track results and starting orders. With this system, we have also become internationally visible, attracting readers from beyond the Baltics. I thank everyone, and let us meet again next year!”
Unlike the 1st and 2nd stages, the courses for the 3rd stage of the School of Young Riders tournament were designed by experienced route planner Ivo Miķelsons and by Joseph Maier from Germany. A word from visiting designer Joseph Maier: “This competition surprised me because of the number of young riders, competing amongst themselves for victory. It has been a pleasure to witness the level of partnership they have with their ponies. This is surprising because youths in Germany prefer spending time at their computers or on their phones rather than participating in contests and devoting effort to equestrian sports – we do not have as many young riders as you do. There are always more riders of elementary school age, but over time some of them choose other hobbies and pursuits, so only the best few remain; you, on the other hand, have riders to choose from. A new generation is rising to the challenge, and I am very happy to see this.
However, as a course designer, I need riders to consider the dynamics and cover the course as an elegantly curved line, rather than a series of sharp angles. Of course, a horse and its riders must be in mutual harmony, like a conductor and their orchestra, in order to complete a course without making mistakes.”
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