The 2018 Youth Olympic Games will be held in Buenos Aires this week, from Oct. 6 to Oct. 8. Events include everything from Archery to Wrestling for athletes 18 and under. Show Jumping will also be featured, although Canada will not be fielding a team at this event.

“The Jumping Committee and in particular the Jumping Talent ID Committee will be looking into future programming for our youth and hope to have this particular games in our plans going forward. Like any games, you must qualify to attend and the FEI provides selection criteria that must be followed. We then in turn will have internal criteria that must also be followed to help with selection of the athletes,” said Karen Hendry-Ouellette, Manager of Sport – Jumping Department for Equine Canada.

This is the third Youth Olympic games; the first was held in Singapore in 2010 and the second games were held in China. Canada did have one equestrian participant in the inaugural games, Dominique Shone.

“What I remember best, was how much fun it was to ride on a team and getting to represent my country. Even though I was on a North/Central American team and not just a Canadian team, we all got to know each other really well. It’s a great change of pace in such a heavily individual sport. We would all go to explore Singapore together when we weren’t riding,” said Dominique.

“Since we were on borrowed horses there was also very little pressure for the team competition. It was literally just luck of the draw when it came to which horse you were going to get. I ended up with a pretty good jumper, but she was only 6 years old and very green. All the teams were genuinely supportive of each other. I also got to meet more riders from all over the world, and even reunite with people that I had met previously at FEI Children’s Finals. It ended up being a very fun, low pressure version of the actual Olympics.”

Thirty athletes will be competing in the jumping portion of this year’s Youth Olympic Games. The nations with participants are:
United Arab Emirates
New Zealand
Hong Kong, China
South Africa
United States
Great Britain

Of the 30 countries being represented in jumping, this is the first time for 11 countries – including Bolivia, Haiti, Jordan and Zambia.

Unlike the main Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games comprises representatives from multiple countries. For example, the U.S.’s team member Mattie Hatcher joins athletes from Mexico, Haiti, Honduras and Panama. There are five other teams competing, being Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe and South America. For a rider to qualify in North America, they must have ranked in the FEI North American Junior Championships or the FEI World Jumping Challenge Rankings.
At the FEI North American Junior Championships, Canada’s best result was gold for team children, however, the children category is 12-14 – and the minimum age to qualify for the Youth Olympics is 15.

Canada is participating in many of the Youth Olympic Games and is sending 71 athletes who will participate in Archery, Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Rowing, and 18 other events. The 2018 Youth Olympic Games opening ceremony takes place on Oct. 6 and will be held in the streets of the city, rather than in an arena or stadium. It can been be seen via the 2018 Youth Olympic Games app here or on CBC, starting with the opening ceremony at 6:55 p.m. ET.