Talented Zimbabwean showjumper Amy Hay will have an opportunity to compete against some of the world’s top competitors in her age group when she participates at the Youth Equestrian Games 2022 (YEG) in Aachen, Germany.
The Youth Equestrian Games 2022 get underway next Thursday and will run until July 3.
They will replace the Youth Olympic Games which were set to take place this year in Dakar, Senegal, but have been postponed until 2026.
Seventeen-year-old Hay will join young riders from thirty nations across six continents who met the qualifying criteria for the global competition.
The athletes, all aged between 15 and 18 years, will compete in Individual and Team Jumping competitions in Aachen, with each qualified nation competing as part of a five-member continental Team.
The South Africa-based rising star left for Germany on Friday accompanied by her coach Charley Crockart, who is a top Zimbabwean professional showjumper.
“I’m so excited to be representing Zimbabwe at the Youth Equestrian Games in Aachen. I can’t wait and I hope to do my country proud,” Hay said ahead of the prestigious competition.
Riders will compete on borrowed horses, which will be supplied by the organising committee and randomly allocated to participants.
The horses and riders will have three days prior to the event to train and form a strong partnership in preparation for the start of the competition on Wednesday 29th June.
Hay will form part of the Africa continental group in a team alongside riders from South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.
The team competition will be run over two rounds of a 1.30m course (one round per day), where the best three scores from the five riders will count towards final team classification.
The individual competition will be held in the Main Stadium when the individual Youth Equestrian Games winner will be crowned. This competition will be held over one round of a 1.30m course not against the clock with a jump-off against the clock in case of equality of penalties after round one.
Hay and her Zimbabwean-bred warmblood horse Rivens Whirlwind qualified Zimbabwe for a spot at the 2022 Youth Equestrian Games by attaining double clears in the second and third competitions of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Category A World Jumping Challenge.
They competed in Johannesburg, South Africa, in July and August last year, and came first in the second leg, and were the only Zimbabweans to have a double clear in the third leg of the competition.
Amy wrapped up the previous year on a high after claiming a gold medal in the South African Youth Grand Prix Championships in Cape Town in December, becoming the first Zimbabwean to achieve such a feat in the history of the competition.
The promising showjumper also became the first Zimbabwean to be invited to compete in the Children’s German Friendships in 2019 in Herford, Germany.
African Youth Teams preparing for the Youth Equestrian Games in Aachen 2022