December 1st 2019: Aspiring young dressage riders got a hint of the CHIO atmosphere during the Aachen Dressage Youngstars

Of course, they took a look at the Deutsche Bank Stadium. It is just a few steps from that world-famous arena, where at the renowned CHIO Aachen event the dressage competitions take place, to the Albert Vahle Arena, where the “Aachen Dressage Youngstars” event was staged last weekend. Many of Europe’s best, young dressage talents competed against each other in four age groups over the course of four days. And for one of them a dream came true this weekend – she won the eligibility to compete in the adjacent Deutsche Bank Stadium in the coming spring. 

“That is the greatest prize, I have ever won. An absolute dream come true!” Kimberly Pap can’t really believe what had just happened to her. Even though, the aspiring Dutch dressage rider put in perfect performances all weekend at the “Aachen Dressage Youngstars”. She won all three classifications in the Prize of the Hans-Peter Simons Family and thus logically also claimed the overall victory in the Prize of the Klaus Peters Family. Prior to the prize-giving ceremony she was not aware of the fact that she had not only secured herself the title of Indoor Champion of the Young Riders (up until 21), but also a wild card for the CHIO Aachen. “No, that really was a surprise. I still can’t believe it,” commented the overjoyed 19-year-old, who will thus be competing for the first time in the Deutsche Bank Stadium in 2020.

The days in Aachen went equally successful for a further young dressage talent from the Netherlands. Micky Schelstraete also rode to victory in all three classes of the Juniors classification (up until 18). The 15-year-old also clearly took the victory in the concluding freestyle competition, the WOTAX Prize with Grand-Charmeur and thus also walked off with the overall victory. “I hadn’t expected to win one competition, let alone all three. I am simply delighted,” Schelstraete beamed. 

The fact that not only the Dutch riders had something to celebrate, but also the Germans was down to the youngest participant at the “Aachen Dressage Youngstars”. In the Children Youngstars Cup, presented by the Kemper Stud, which was staged for the first time, the 13-year-old Emma Blatt won the first ever title of Children’s Indoor Champion with two second places. The pupil of the famous dressage trainer from Aachen, Ton de Ridder, was hardly able to believe her luck: "The atmosphere here is fantastic and it was great fun, but I hadn’t expected things to go so well.“  

Subsequently, it was also a young German talent that asserted herself among the pony riders. Rose Oatley from Lütjensee in Schleswig-Holstein won the overall classification, the Prize of the Klaus Peters Family, after finishing first twice and coming second once. “Things didn’t go according to plan on the first day, so I am overjoyed that we were able to improve in the following classes. Winning here in Aachen of all places is like a dream. I have always wanted to ride here,” the 12-year-old remarked, who at the same time noted that she also hopes to succeed in riding next door in the big Deutsche Bank Stadium one day. 

That would not only please the Show Director, Frank Kemperman, who was impressed by the level of the “Aachen Dressage Youngstars”. “We have seen so many talents here that we certainly don’t have to worry about not having enough aspiring young dressage riders,” added Kemperman, who was equally impressed by the well-attended “Aachen Late Night, presented by the Allianz” on Saturday. “It was a lovely evening with a nice mixture between entertainment and information.” 

The “Aachen Jumping Youngstars – Salut Festival” is taking place from December 5th-8th, one week after the “Aachen Dressage Youngstars”, admission is free of charge on all days. 

Kimberly Pap (NED) is pleased to receive the trophy and congratulations from Klaus Peters and ALRV President Carl Meulenbergh. Photo: Alexander Marx.

Kimberly Pap (NED) is pleased to receive the trophy and congratulations from Klaus Peters and ALRV President Carl Meulenbergh. Photo: Alexander Marx.