NEF to hold game qualifiers next month

• BY STAFF REPORTER

EARLY this month, the Namibian Equestrian Federation (NEF) held the Federation Equestrian International (FEI) Jumping World Challenge Leg one and Leg two at the Reiterverein in Swakopmund, with an aim of qualifying to the 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany.

NEF will be holding its final qualifier event to the FEI Youth Equestrian Games on December 4 and 5 again in Swakopmund.

A record number of seven starters in the highest and most difficult category A were recorded, with junior rider Jenna Gilchrist winning leg two with two faultless rounds. Gilchrist beat last year’s overall winner Kate Alison.

Equestrian games are sports that use horses as a main part of the sport, which usually takes the form of the rider being on the horse’s back, or the horses pulling some sort of horse-drawn vehicle.

FEI Youth Equestrian Games (YOG) will be held from June 28 to July 3 2022, which will give young athletes aged 14 to 18 the opportunity to participate in a global competition based on the unique YOG format.

Speaking to Confidente Sport this week, NEF jumping discipline delegate, Christine von Finckenstein said even though there are 13 countries that will be holding their own qualifiers, only five riders from these countries will qualify to the youth games.

The 13 countries taking part in the FEI Youth Games qualifiers are Namibia, South Africa, Senegal, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritius, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Egypt.

“Thirteen African countries will be fighting out for five spots. Every federation can only send their top athlete, so team Africa will be made up of five different nations.

“The qualifying category for the Youth Equestrian Games is Category A, meaning that the rider needs to jump 1.20m to 1.30m high to qualify. Our talent identification for this event was already done in January last year, and the Namibian Equestrian Federation has been preparing the youth athletes since February this year,” said Von Finckenstein.