Holger Hetzel’s top young rider competition and innovative foal auction

Holger Hetzel’s equestrian centre in the Rhenish town of Goch was a showcase for top young riders from Germany and abroad at a three-day competition from 22 to 24 July. The final two-star 1.45 cm class on Sunday was won by Antonia Ercken (Herten) with Falitha Sheila. They came home with the fastest clear round in the jump off at 43.77 seconds.


Second place went to Max Merschformann (Rosendahl) with Stroller (0/44.47). Ercken and her twelve year old mare Falitha Sheila had previously won the one-star 1.40m main class on Saturday. The small finale, a 1.40m one-star class, was won by Ava Ferch from Stegen in southern Germany with Chacco-Mo (0/37.08 in the jump off) ahead of Hanna Bräuer (Wilnsdorf) with Coraline (0/39.11). Both the competitors and their entourages were thoroughly impressed by the competition facilities at Holger Hetzel’s yard.

Olaf Petersen jun., the international course builder, accompanied his daughter Milena Petersen di Cima to the competition and was full of praise for the organisers: “Goch isn’t exactly a quick drive from Munich, but we prefer to travel a longer distance and compete at a show like this where conditions are perfect for both the horses and riders.” Marie Jeanette Ferch, whose daughter Ava won her first 1.40m class with Holger Hetzel’s former Grand Prix horse Chacco-Mo in Goch, was equally complimentary: “We love the fabulous atmosphere here. You feel as if you’re part of the Hetzel family.”


On Saturday evening Goch was the venue for an auction première – the first ever event of its kind in Germany featuring Belgian foals with top international pedigrees hosted by Flanders Foal Auction. There were 22 foals up for auction and 20 had found new owners by the end of the evening. A filly foal by Chacco Blue out of a Goethe dam went for the highest price of EUR 38,000 to a Swiss bidder. The second most expensive foal was a young colt by Casall out of a dam by Heartbreaker that went under the hammer for EUR 33,000. A filly foal by Emerald out of a dam by Cornet Obolensky also sold to Switzerland for a bid of over EUR 30,000.



The three-day show for children, juniors and young riders was a successful dress rehearsal for another first-of-its-kind event in the German show jumping scene. From 4-7 August Holger Hetzel’s equestrian centre is hosting a Youngster Championship for five to eight year old jumping horses. It will be a revolutionary event with the highest prize money ever seen at a youngster competition. Total prize money of EUR 150,000 is there to be won in the final classes for each of the three age groups (five year olds, six year olds and seven/eight year olds). The competition rules are also innovative. All five and six year old horses with clear rounds in both qualification classes automatically go forward into the final. The seven and eight year old horses qualify for the final according to a points system. More than 250 horses have already been entered, including around a dozen from team Olympic gold medal winner Jos Lansink’s yard. Sophie Hinners, German Show Jumping Champion 2021, is also bringing several horses along to the competition. “I’m really pleased that the number of entries from Germany and abroad has far exceeded our expectations and that we have been able to make our vision of an entirely innovative show come true,” said Hetzel. “Perhaps it will become established as a permanent fixture for the world’s best young jumping horses.”


Thomas Hartwig