The year of Covid-19, 2020 a year to remember. Sven Holmberg

First of all, our thoughts go to all those who have lost a friend or a family member during this very strange year. It would not be correct to complain about all the things we couldn’t do considering the seriousness of the pandemic emergency.

For our Young Riders Academy also, it became a year not even remotely similar to any other. In a small window of time, after summer, it became possible to accomplish the selection in Peelbergen and we could remark that the overall quality of the candidates kept on increasing. The first educational session in Lugano had to be postponed but we managed to gather (all but one) in Sweden for the first session. Students and professionals made their very best, even including former YRA members stepping up to lecture.

Following the show season in Spain and Portugal some of this year’s students have started their training sessions at the respective stable and the first reports from Ben Schröder is sounding very positive.

Due to the special situation we had to think “lateral” and, like many others, we have gone digital. All our trainers recorded sessions with their pupils and made them available on our website and social medias pages. Franke and Laura made a series of videos covering all the steps from fundamental groundwork up to how to deal with special lines on the course. Course difficulties provided by Louis Koninckx.

Santiago Varela, Uliano Vezzani and Louis Koninckx also designed courses for young horses in order for the YRA to use them when training at home. Jens Fredricsson produced a video on working horses on long reins. On top of that Jean-Maurice Bonneau and Laura shared their know-how on planning training and competitions during normal conditions.

In spite of all these efforts we really look forward to 2021 with the hope that we can continue with training, education and clinics in the normal way.

Until then, Stay Strong, Stay Safe and make good use of your time!

Sven

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