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Steps to become an Olympic Rider

Time:08-01-2012 19:30:03

Riders usually start out by being involved with Pony Club, 4-H or other local riding organizations. You may also compete in local schooling shows and open show circuits or be part of a high school or college team. A good coach will be essential to coach you through these competitions. Each state or province will have its official organization that organizes circuits in one or more particular discipline Young Riders Programs are offered throughout North America and are open to all youth riders from 14 to 21.
Young Riders offer progressive levels of competition and is an introduction to competing under FEI rules. Top riders qualify to compete in The North American Junior and Young Riders Championships (NAJYRC) and are invited to compete by their equestrian federation in Central America, the Caribbean, Bermuda, as well as each province of Canada, each USA Equestrian Zone (Show Jumping), USDF Region (Dressage), and USEA Area (Eventing).
Young Riders is also a stepping stone to being selected for a national team like the Canadian or United States Equestrian Team. You will have to prove yourself by placing consistently in major competitions such as Rolex and Badminton. From the best of these riders a national team is chosen. From this pool riders are chosen that will compete at World Championships, Pan-Am Games and the Olympics.
The dream of taking of backyard horse to the Olympics is very unlikely. At the level where riders are competing on an international level each will need a pool of horses. Most will be leased and many imported from Europe, although there are programs promoting the breeding of international level competition horses in North America. Extensive travel is required and riders may need sponsorship to fund their competition expenses.