How to Become an Olympic Rider
 By Winniefield Park   •   4th Oct 2013   •   9,548 views   •   1 comments
How to Become an Olympic Rider

When I was still in grade school, I visited the booth of the Canadian Equestrian Team at the Royal Winter Fair. For a small donation, I received a ribbon slip printed with gold lettering that said, “I support the Canadian Equestrian Team.” For weeks afterwards, I wore the ribbon to school but with the portion that said, “I Support the”, folded under. My Olympic dream clearly hasn't come true. We have to wait for the 2016 Summer Olympics, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to watch. And the FEI is still sorting out new qualifying proposals. However, just in case you think you're still eager to go, here's your path to becoming an Olympic Equestrian.

A lot of Olympic riders start out in 4-H or Pony Club. Many got their start at local shows and on high school and college equestrian teams. Essential throughout the process is a good coach who is knowledgeable about the requirements of competition. Most states or provinces will have its formal organization that manages the circuits in one or more discipline. It's important to be a member of this organization and follow its rules.

In many countries, Olympic hopefuls can become involved in Young Riders programs. In North America, there is a Young Riders program for each of the FEI sports, including those contested at the Olympics. From this pool of talent springs future Olympians. Young Riders is available to all youth riders from fourteen to twenty years-of-age and offers progressive levels of competition and an introduction to competing under FEI rules.

The time and financial commitment for Olympic qualification are intense, as is the competition. As a member of Young Riders, or any other group with the intent of qualifying, you will need to be an active team player. Most of your time will be spent in preparation for competing or in actual competition. To offset the costs, you may have to seek out sponsorships and will be responsible for representing them appropriately.

From there it's on to Grand Prix and international competition. As you work your way up through the levels of competition, you will be competing in increasingly difficult tests and over higher and more technical jumps. You may also be qualifying for competitions like North American Championships, European Championships and the World Equestrian Games. Doing well at these top-level shows will help put you in contention for the Olympic qualifications.

Not all riders come through the Young Riders programs, however. Consider that in the 2012 Olympics, seventy-year-old Hiroshi Hoketsu competed in dressage. He first competed in the Olympics in 1964, and remained competitive. Hoketsu, in the intervening time had a very successful business career, affording him, no doubt, the resources with which to pursue his passion. (Maybe if I win a lottery, it's not too late.)

Being a one-horse competitor like Hoketsu is unusual, as aspiring Olympians will no doubt be riding a number of leased, and possibly imported horses. While the focus may be on qualifying one horse, there will likely need to be another horse or two waiting in the wings. And, you'll be working with a team of veterinarians, grooms, coaches and other support staff who will contribute to your success.

Follow these simple steps and I'll be cheering for you for in Rio.

Image Credit: © Tarczas |
Horse News More PB Articles About:  Olympics,
Horse News More In This Category:  Shows and Events      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
That's tottaly true it take a lot to make it.
  60 days ago  •  10,964 views
 Related Horse News
A Pony Wins an Olympic Medal
8th Apr 2010   |   Shows and Events   |   mosquito
Can a pony win a medal at the Olympics? Some might say maybe in dressage. How about show jumping? Not likely. But it happened and not only did that pony win a silver medal at the Olympics, he was also won the world championshi ...
How to Become an Olympic Rider
4th Oct 2013   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
When I was still in grade school, I visited the booth of the Canadian Equestrian Team at the Royal Winter Fair. For a small donation, I received a ribbon slip printed with gold lettering that said, 'I support the Canadian Equestr ...
The 1936 Olympic Games – The Story of Jenny Camp
5th Oct 2010   |   Shows and Events   |   mosquito
Back before World War II, equestrian sports were dominated by military horses. After World War I, many nations concentrated on developing top cavalry horses horses that were strong, fast, intelligent and brave – all qualities nee ...
Horses in the Winter Olympics
5th Sep 2013   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
The 2014 Winter Olympics is fast approaching. I love watching the downhill skiing, the speed skating, bob sled and skeleton. Horse events were an important part of the ancient Olympics, with sports like chariot racing and ridden r ...
Equestrian Sports Set To Make Comeback In Next Winter Olympics
21st Feb 2014   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
The winter Olympics are over, and truthfully, it's a bit disappointing that there was really nothing for the equestrian crowd, except Russia's brief nod to the horse during the opening ceremonies. Over the years, a few equestrian ...
Equestrian Sports in the Olympics
25th May 2016   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
Over the history of the modern Olympics, several sports have gone by the wayside. Of the three that were part of the first modern Olympics, only show jumping remains. Polo made a brief appearance, but like modern day decathlon, it ...
Equestrian Sports Too Confusing For Olympic Audience
17th Aug 2016   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
Adelinde Cornelissen pulls her horse Parzival out of competition minutes into their first dressage test, claiming he didn’t feel right after a bug bit him, causing swelling in his jaw and neck. Most media however spins the story a ...
Winter Equestrian Games
19th Feb 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
The Winter Olympics are underway and there’s not much for an equestrian sports fan to get excited about. Maybe we need the alternate Winter Olympic events for horse owners to give us something to cheer about. You may have witnesse ...
U.S. Olympic Dressage Rider Charged with Attempted Murder
18th Aug 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
A U.S. Olympic dressage rider has been charged with attempted murder. Michael Barisone, who rode with the the U.S. team in the 2012 Beijing Olympics shot, 38 year old equestrian Lauren Kanarek. Kanarek and her fiance were tenants ...
Tokyo Olympics Isabell Werth Riding Her Mare Bella Rose
21st Aug 2021   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
The Summer Olympics are over with all the highs and lows that come with high-pressure competition. A definite high was dressage equestrian Isabell Werth riding her mare Bella Rose. In a sport known for exacting judging, Werth rode ...
  View More PonyBox Related Horse Articles
 More News by Winniefield Park
🐎 ! Velocity Undefeated at 1,332 Consecutive Jumpoff Wins
28th Nov 2021   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
With a best jump of 102.75 inches and an undefeated jumpoff record of 1,332 - 0 at the age of 16, ! Velocity, a 11.3 hand Thoroughbred mare, has just captured the top PonyBox rank. Bred by Elmos Colourblind Ink, her earnings total ...
🤠 Love Valley North Carolina Old West Video Tour
27th Nov 2021   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
Love Valley is a place that looks like time forgot. Located in the Brushy Mountains north of Statesville, North Carolina it’s the brainchild of one man who decided to live out his childhood dream of living in the old west. Take a ...
🛳️ Explore The Shetland Island Vacation Cruise
26th Nov 2021   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
As more tourist destinations become available, many of us are planning trips once again. For fans of cruising, The Shetland Islands is a unique port of call that features the iconic Shetland Pony. Beloved by children, but original ...
Best of Breed Riding Helmets and How They Are Tested
24th Nov 2021   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
Purchase an ASTM-approved riding helmet made specifically for equestrian sports and you’ll be confident that your head will have good protection if you fall off. But not all helmets are created equal. The Helmet Lab research group ...
🐎 Girls Dominate PonyBox Top 10 Horses for November
21st Nov 2021   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
Once again the girls dominate the recent PonyBox top ten rankings with only three stallions making the grade. ...
Video of Woman Ousted from Pony Club for Kicking and Slapping Horse
20th Nov 2021   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
A woman who was caught on video kicking and slapping a horse who refused to load onto a trailer has been ousted by Pony Club. After avoiding the trailer, the horse gets loose, although others were there to keep it contained. But w ...
🥇 Show Jumping Removed from Pentathlon After Shocking Video
19th Nov 2021   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
Less than six months after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) has voted to remove show jumping from the 5 sports that make up Modern Pentathlon. The move comes after a video of a rider an ...
Horse Like Creatures Still Unexplained by Science
16th Nov 2021   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
Eel horses, kelpies, nessies, these are just a few horses and horse-like creatures you won’t find on any horse breed list. Are they just part of legend, meant to scare naughty children into behaving, or are they truly out there, e ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
©2002 - 2021   PonyBox LLC Create Account Advertise Terms Privacy Contact Us
194 Members Online 270,947 Registered Members 2,982 News Articles 12,961,299 Unique News Article Views 312,880,293 Website Views