Lausanne, August 19, 2013: The well-known Lipizzaner Szilvásvárad stud farm in Hungary will host the second edition of the FEI European Youth Driving Championships which will begin in just two days on 21 August. During four days, 43 talented young competitors will be battling it out in three classes – children (12-14 years), juniors (14-18 years), and young drivers (16-21 years) – driving either a single pony or a single horse.
Teams from four nations – Austria, Belgium, Germany and host nation and defending world champion Hungary – consisting of two drivers per class, which is the highest authorised number, will be taking part. The combined scores of the best drivers in each class will count towards the team result.
Dávid Lehöcz (HUN), who won individual gold in the children’s category in 2012, will this year compete with the juniors. The 2012 world champions Martin Hölle (HUN, Juniors) and Gilles Pirotte (BEL, Young Drivers) will not be defending their titles in Szilvásvárad.
Szilvásvárad is an established site for international driving competitions. In 1984, it successfully hosted the FEI World Four-in-Hand Driving Championships and the stud farm organises a yearly CAI-A event in all classes.
The dressage and cones competitions will take place in the stud farm’s main stadium, which is located in the city centre. The marathon course will take the competitors out of town through a forest, where some of the six marathon obstacles will be placed. The marathon is designed by FEI O-Course Designer Barry Hunter (GBR), who was also responsible for the course at the FEI World Pair Driving Championships in Conty (FRA) in 2011.
The FEI European Championships start on Wednesday, 21 August with the horse inspection. The children and the juniors, all of whom will compete with ponies, will drive their dressage test on Thursday, 22 August. The young drivers, some of whom will compete with a horse, will enter the dressage arena on Friday, 23 August.
The marathon will take place on Saturday 24 August and will be followed by the final obstacle driving competition and the medal ceremonies on Sunday, 25 August.
The Ground Jury is chaired by FEI Driving Committee member Mark Wentein (BEL) and has Zsuzsanna Mihók (HUN), Karin Schwarzl (GER), Sarah Mullins (IRL) and Henk van Amerongen (NED) as members.
For more information, please check the Szilvásvárad stud farm’s website www.menesgazdasag.hu —- By Cindy Timmer
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