A total of 30 nations across six continents have been announced to participate in the FEI Youth Equestrian Games 2022 to be held in Aachen (GER) from June 28 – July 3, 2022.

This historic event for the youth equestrian community will showcase 30 athletes, aged between 15 and 18 years, who will compete in both Individual and Continental Team Jumping competitions. To fulfil the Youth Equestrian Games qualification criteria, athletes are required to complete two rounds of competition over the same pre-determined course, with identical distance and height specifications.

Following the postponement of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Dakar (SEN) to 2026, the FEI requested the IOC to organise an alternative event to be held in 2022. In agreement with the IOC, the Youth Equestrian Games, built around the same principles as YOG, will be organised to avoid young athletes being negatively impacted by the absence of the Youth Olympic Games. The event will also host a Culture and Education Programme established in cooperation with the IOC.

Participants will compete under the same format used in previous editions of the YOG. Athletes will ride unfamiliar horses -assigned by a random draw and supplied by the organising committee – and will have three training days and a welcome competition outside of the official program to strengthen their bond and forge a solid partnership.

The city chosen to host the Youth Equestrian Games has been the iconic Aachen, in Germany, where fans have seen many of the best equestrians in history crowned. The perfect stage to enjoy the stars of the future.

Six countries will make their first appearance in the competition: Costa Rica, France, Germany, Palestine, Russia and Tunisia.

“It was important for the FEI to find a replacement to the Youth Olympic Games to ensure we did not deprive a whole youth generation of the Olympic dream,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos explained.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event that will inspire young equestrians from all over the world, making this not only a rewarding, exciting and impactful experience for them, but with an educational dimension, fundamental to instilling the philosophy of the Olympic Games. Exposing the youth to the integral values built around Olympism that will ultimately encourage further skills development to achieving high levels of performance, whilst understanding friendship and respect in the sporting arena.

“To foster these Olympic values is key to ensuring the future of our sport in the Olympic movement. The Youth Equestrian Games are a unique opportunity to develop our young athletes at the highest level while keeping them motivated towards the Olympic dream.”

The final list of qualified athletes will be published here on June 1.

All the information you need to know about the Youth Equestrian Games 2022 can be viewed here.

Qualified Nations: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Honduras, Iran, Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Palestine, Paraguay, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.

Nations competing for the first time: Costa Rica, France, Germany, Palestine, Russia and Tunisia.

(Ed. note: HorseSport asked about the absence of Canadian representation at these Games, and is awaiting an official reply from Equestrian Canada)