Pride of place goes to the young at the CHI Geneva 2019

The Geneva International Horse Show is once again breaking new ground. The 59th edition, from 12th to 15th December, will see the Swiss leg of the Rolex Grand Slam organise a CSI competition for under 25s. A first! On the other hand, dressage has been dropped from the programme.

Optimized by JPEGmini 0xce1176c3 Alexandra Amar, member of the Young Riders' Swiss Team, has taken part in the Youth Challenge last year.

The promotion of young riders plays an important role in the philosophy of the Geneva International Horse Show. This Swiss Major of the Rolex Grand Slam has for many years admitted young riders into the world’s largest indoor arena through its annual CSI5* competition, thanks to Wild Cards and selection via, in particular, the Young Riders Academy.

For its 59th edition between 12thand 15thDecember, CHI Geneva will be offering even more opportunities for young riders on the Swiss and world show jumping scene. For the first time, a CSI reserved for under-25s will be organised. It will involve around 25 riders. A third of the competitors will be Swiss; two thirds will come from abroad. “We’ve always been mindful of offering opportunities to young riders who find it difficult to reach the top echelons. Every year, we invite young talented competitors to our CSI5*, and that will continue, but places are of course limited at this level. With the organisation of this CSIU25, more will be able to compete in the Palexpo arena. We’re delighted, because the youth of today are of course the elite of tomorrow! It’s our role as organisers and enthusiasts to support them”, affirms Alban Poudret, Sports Director of CHI Geneva.


The sports department of CHI Geneva together with the teams’ leaders will select the competitors. Three Wild Cards will be available for Swiss riders. The first will go to the Swiss young riders (U21) champion; the second to the winner of the 140-145cm circuit of the Swiss Team Trophy, Swiss show jumping’s support association; the third to the top Swiss competitor in October’s CSIU25 Grand Prix of Chevenez.


Dressage, on the other hand, will no longer appear in the CHI Geneva programme. “We’ve been very happy and proud to host this splendid discipline at Palexpo for the last three years. We’ve seen some great competition and welcomed some of the world’s best riders. However, we have to admit that the discipline has not entirely clicked with the audience. A CSI for young riders has been in our minds for a few years, but for it to happen we need to integrate it into our already busy schedule, so we need to choose”, shares Sophie Mottu Morel, the competition’s Show Director. “I’d like to thank everyone who made it possible to organise dressage at Geneva: our partners, the committee’s dressage section, the volunteers, as well as the competitors and their support teams. Who knows, perhaps dressage will return one day to the banks of Lake Geneva?”

The 59th CHI Geneva will be held at Palexpo from 12thto 15thDecember. The full programme will be revealed some time in August.

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