A University of Guelph student will be representing Canada at the 2009 International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) Young Rider World Cup in Germany this month.
Amy Jager, a second-year biological science student, is one of the top-ranked competitors at the international dressage competition and the sole Canadian qualifier. She will compete against the top 15 riders in the world in Frankfurt Dec. 17 to 20.
“The opportunity to represent my country against the world’s top athletes is an incredible honour,” said Jager. “I cannot express how excited I am. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we're going to compete to the best of our abilities”
Jager has been named to the Junior and Young Rider Canadian National teams for the past four years and has also won bronze and silver medals for Canada at two North American championships. But this is her first high-level international competition.
"Being selected as the top Young Rider in Canada is unbelievable,” she said, “and traveling to Germany to compete is a brand-new experience.”
Jager, who grew up in Breslau and trains at David Marcus Dressage in Campbellville, has been riding since the age of five.
She and her horse, Jive, an 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood, have been working together since 2004.
She takes part in five to eight Canadian competitions annually, and also travels to the United States to compete. Most recently, she represented Canada at the North American Young Rider Championships in Kentucky.
“Juggling school and riding can be very challenging,” she said. “I’m at the barn almost every day for two to four hours.” Jager also works with another younger horse, Key West, so she has to ride or visit him every day as well.
“This semester has been the toughest by far because of the level of training needed to prepare for the World Cup; we’re training longer and harder. It’s a large time commitment.”
Jager said she keeps up with her school work by breaking down large tasks into small, manageable goals. “The best way I have found to stay on top of things is to pay attention in class. I also try and get things done nicely ahead of time.”
Jager and Jive will fly to Germany together on Dec. 8. “It's been a lot of work getting everything organized,” she said. “There are a lot of forms and processes they need to be done to travel with a horse. But Jive is super relaxed about traveling, so I am not too worried about him, he’s a trooper. I have a lot of long hours ahead of me, driving and flying, but it's all worth it.”
Jager has created a blog, “Amy and Jive’s World Cup Adventure,” to chronicle the events leading up to and at the international competition.
We here at EQUINE GUELPH want to wish Amy and Jive all the best!