• July 2, 2024

Emile Hendrix appointed as Young Riders Academy Vice President, and Rodrigo Pessoa discussing horses’ welfare. The highlights from 2024 First Educational Session in Lugano

The first educational session brought several significant updates.

Athenaeum, the non-profit association founded in 2014, has recently renewed the composition of its Board of Directors.

President Eleonora Ottaviani has been confirmed for another term, and Emile Hendrix has been appointed as Vice President.

“I am pleased to have Emile among the Board. His experience in the equestrian world, his reliability, and the support he has consistently shown towards YRA over the years, along with our more than twenty-year friendship based on mutual respect, reassure me that he will be a valuable asset to all of us” declares Ottaviani.

Hendrix brings a wealth of experience and tradition in equestrian sport, having excelled as an athlete, trainer, and horseman. He has also served on the Young Riders Academy ‘s Selection Panel since its inception, demonstrating his deep commitment to nurturing young talent in showjumping.

I am honored to have been asked to join the board of the Young Riders Academy. From the very first day, I have been involved as a selector, and it has been an incredible journey. Together, we have made excellent choices, and I am extremely proud of what we have achieved till now. I look forward to contributing in my new role on the board for the next ten years” stated Hendrix at the end of first YRA team 2024 first educational session in Lugano.

Another special guest of Athenaeum, via videoconference, attended this session at the Franklin University Switzerland event: the Olympic rider Rodrigo Pessoa. 

“ We must make responsible decisions that prioritize the horse's well-being over our personal interests. it’s probably the most difficult thing in our sport to keep the horses sound and well for several years and I believe that's the trickiest thing to do. A long break every year is important to recover physically and mentally; and when facing with a year like this, with the Olympics approaching, it’s even more critical. Every horse is different, so it's important to tailor the plan to ensure they are ready on the right day. However, it's essential to remain flexible, as unexpected events can arise, requiring you to adapt and change the plan accordingly” affirmed Pessoa to the YRA 2024 team.

The Young Riders Academy remains one of Athenaeum's flagship initiatives, designed to cultivate young European talents in showjumping. This leadership continuity underscores our ongoing commitment to fostering excellence in the sport.

As part of our dedication to developing future champions, the Board has decided to provide continuous support and training from YRA coaches to the most deserving riders within the YRA family ( all riders who have completed the program).

These selected riders will have the opportunity to benefit from our resources and expertise, ensuring they maximize this unique opportunity.

We are also thrilled to announce the celebration of our 10th anniversary with an official ceremony and dinner in Venice this coming November. This milestone event will honor a decade of achievements and set the stage for many more years of promoting equestrian excellence.

Furthermore, this summer, at the FEI European Championship for Young Riders in Peelbergen we are proud to introduce the YRA Grand Prix for Individual Final. This event will showcase the young riders' talent and highlight the impact of our tailored training programs.

We look forward to continuing our mission to support and elevate young athletes in equestrian sport on their journey to professionalism.