Do the World Young Horse Championships Lead to Grand Prix Success? Yes!

Wed, 09/07/2022 - 23:26
2016 World Championships for Young Dressage Horses
Glamourdale competed at the World Young Horse Championships as a 5-year old, he won as a 7-year old and is now the World Dressage Champion :: Photo © Astrid Appels

One of the most annoying statements I have to listen to often is that the World Championships for Young Dressage Horses yield to nothing. "All of these horses disappear, none of them make it to Grand Prix. What's the value of such a show if they can't even spot Grand Prix talent?" These are just a few sentence from detractors that bully my ear drums. "This is not true, there are plenty of examples," I always rebuke fervently.

The World Young Horse Championships are often abbreviated as "Verden" as the German town was a fixture for organizing the highly celebrated event. This year Ermelo took over the torch and hosted an excellent edition of the show and the Dutch town in the Veluwe natural park will be the host the upcoming two years.

On Sunday I sat next to two internationall acclaimed equestrian photographers and they both said the same negative thing again. This time I really took it to heart and decided that as soon as I would get home, I'd write an article about it. So anyone who serves you Verden or Ermelo lemons, you can give them lemonade by sending them the URL to this article!

So let's just look back at the finalists of the World Championships of the "old days" and stand corrected! I'll just list the names of the horses that pushed through to Grand Prix level or at least made their mark at international small tour level; and this just from the top of my head, no research done. I'm sure there are more I'm forgetting:

Participated in 2000 (Arnheim)

  • Quantum Tyme (Evi Strasser)  - international grand Prix horse
  • Wetano (Lillan Jebsen) - international grand Prix horse
  • Milan (Mikaela Lindh) - international grand Prix horse
  • New Tango (Tara Stegen) - international Grand Prix horse
  • Dark Diamant (Sophie Baetens van lent) - international grand Prix horse
  • Ratino H (Martina Hannover) - international Grand Prix horses
  • Donatha S (Ellen Schulten-Baumer) - international grand Prix horse
  • Ritual (Dirk Dijkstra) - international grand Prix horse
  • Lara (Sandy Philipps) - international grand Prix horse
  • Mevin (Imke Schellekens) - international grand Prix horse
  • Paganini (Jeroen Devroe) - international grand Prix horse
  • Rosantica (David Engelen) -  international grand Prix horse
  • Montecristo (Kirsten Beckers) - international grand Prix horse
  • Wolkentanz II  (Johannes Westendarp) - international small tour horse
  • Roman Nature (Angela - Dutch Young Riders Team horse
  • Winwood (Heather Bender) - international small tour horse
  • Maneur (Sofie Olsen) - international small tour horse
  • Laurentianer (Marlies van Baalen) - international small tour horse
  • Astonish (Henriette Andersen) - international small tour horse

Participated in 2001 (Verden)

  • Rubels (Hans Peter Minderhoud) - international grand Prix horse
  • Cappucino D (Anne Bendix) - international grand Prix horse
  • Horgaard Wild One (Arlene Page) - international grand Prix horse
  • Wild Dancer (Peter Storr) - international grand Prix horse
  • OO Seven (David Shoobridge) - international grand Prix horse
  • Cherie (Karin Rehbein) - international grand Prix horse
  • Munchhausen (Fie Skarsoe) - international grand Prix horse
  • Quando Quando (Kristy Oatley) - international grand Prix horse
  • Oxalis de Meia Lua (Migual Ralao Duarte-) - international grand Prix horse
  • Cappucino D (Anne Bendix) - international grand Prix horse
  • Wanesco (Holga Finken) -  international small tour horse / Nurnberger Burgpokal winner
  • Danny Wilde (N. Erdmann) - international small tour horse

Participated in 2002 (Verden)

  • Diamond Hit (Emma Hindle) - international grand Prix horse
  • Kavalier (Jane Cleveland) - international small tour horse
  • Habitus (Johanne Pauline von Danwitz) - european junior riders champion
  • Paddox (Diederik van Silfhout) - international small tour horse
  • Weltissimo (Hubertus Schmidt) - international grand Prix horse
  • Alassio (Franziska Fries) - - international small tour horse
  • Orion (Pia Fortmuller) - - international grand Prix horse
  • Rigoletto (Nathalie zu Sayn Wittgenstein) - international grand Prix horse
  • Monteverdi (Fie Skarsie) - national grand Prix horse
  • Ohio (Kirsten Beckers, Anne & Lotte Meulendijks) - international grand Prix horse

Participated in 2003 (Verden)

  • French Kiss (Laura Swain) - international small tour horse
  • Baroncelli (Susan Hassler) - international Grand prix horse
  • Broholm's Highlight (Jim Rasmussen) - international Grand prix horse
  • Biggles (Jan Brink, Kristian von Krusenstierna) - international Grand prix horse
  • Show Star (Sophie Holkenbrink) - international small tour horse
  • Charming (Mieko Yagi) - international grand prix horse
  • Clearwater (Anne van Olst) - international grand prix horse
  • Mariett (Lars Petersen) - international grand prix horse
  • Rhodium (Diederik van Silfhout) - international small tour horse
  • Feramo K (Judy Dierks) - international grand prix horse
  • Distelzar (Andrea Wicki Mäder) - international grand prix horse
  • Magic Tec (Anne Sophie Federspiel) - international small tour horse
  • Painted Black (Anky van Grunsven, Morgan Barbancon) - international grand prix horse
  • Rose Noir (Kristina Sprehe) - international small tour horse
  • Don Charlys (Minna telde) - international grand prix horse
  • Roadster (Lisa Wilcox) - international small tour horse
  • Pasternak (Coby van Baalen) - international grand prix horse
  • Paso Doble (Sanneke Rothenberger) - international small tour horse
  • Partous (David Wightman) - international grand prix horse
  • Mayfield Pzazz (Kerry Mack) - international grand prix horse
  • Liebling II (Carl Hester, Anna Ross) - international grand prix horse

Participated in 2004 (Verden)

  • Rubi AR (Gonçalo Carvalho) - international Grand prix horse
  • Belissimo M (Hayley Beresford) - international Grand prix horse
  • Daianira van de Helle (Vicky Smits) - international Grand prix horse
  • Artemis/Foto Tyme (Richard Davison) - international Grand prix horse
  • Silvano (Patrik Kittel/Dorothee Schneider) - international Grand prix horse
  • Fitou L (Lone Bang Larson)) - international Grand prix horse
  • Wie Atlantico (Juan Matute/Fiona Bigwood) - international Grand prix horse
  • Fuego (Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz) - international Grand prix horse
  • Furstenreich (Emma Hindle) - international Grand prix horse
  • Carabas (Andreas Helgstrand/Rainer Schwiebert) - international Grand prix horse
  • Bocelli (Rose Mathisen) - international Grand prix horse
  • Wizard (Adrienne Lyle) - international Grand prix horse
  • Jaybee Alabaster (Hayley Beresford) - international Grand prix horse
  • Fazzino (Julie de Deken) - international Grand prix horse
  • Just Royal Dancer (Mirelle van Kemenade) - international Grand prix horse
  • Scandic (Patrik Kittel) - international Grand prix horse
  • Florencio (Hans peter Minderhoud) international small tour horse
  • Rodrigo (Arlette Holsters) - international small tour horse

Now just to mention a few of the really "big names" who landed at the top of the ranking in the World Championships and are now highly acclaimed international Grand Prix horses.

  • Damon Hill - gold  2005 + 2006 WCYH
  • Totilas - 4 place 2005 WCYH
  • Painted Black - silver 2003 WCYH
  • Uzzo - gold 2006 WCHYH, bronze 2007 WCYH
  • Dablino - 5th in 2006 WCYH
  • Imperio - silver 2008 WCYH
  • Deveraux OLD - gold 2007 WCYH
  • Weihegold - 11th at 2010 WCYH
  • Deja - 10th at 2010 WCYH
  • Showtime - 6th at 2011 WCYH

We can't look at more recent years just yet as those horses have not yet reached Grand Prix age, or they are just starting to compete at Grand Prix level.

Albeit, detractors stop stating that the World Championships are not a nursary show for world class talent. They are!

I have spoken.

-- Astrid Appels

Update posted 7 September 2022

Here is an updated list of horses that competed in the World Championships and then made it to international Grand Prix level. These are the alumni.

I'm not repeating names that returned the year later in a higher age category) and this is just a quick browse over the results lists.


  • Damon Hill, Totilas, Currency DC, Tellwell, Tango, Tiesto, Frechdachs, Spargo, Baldessarini W, Insterburg, Sisther de Jeu, Fitou L, Bocelli, Daianira van de Helle, Sierappel, Donnperignon, 


  • Atterupgaards Molberg, Donna Fetti, Don Dorn, With You, Uzzo, Hermes, Santana, Torricelli, Dablino, Ekwador, Rodrigo III, Devon L, Tango V, 


  • Don Auriello, Vivaldo, Diamantina, Dream of Night CH, Herbie Hancock Graftebjerg, Vontango B, Noble Dream, Polka Hit Nexen, Rosevelt, Voice, Johnson, Bertoli W, Blind Date, Devereaux, Daily Pleasure, Riwera


  • Atterupgaards Cassidy, Imperio, Wynton, Damsey, Wladimir O.A., Westpoint, Bertoli W, N.O.H.'S Wizard,  Verdi de la Fazenda, Soraya II, Vledder M, Don Gregorius, Polka Hit Nexen


  • Skovens Rafael, Honnerups Driver, Dresden Mann, Real Dancer, Heslegard's Rolex, Paridon Magi, 


  • Isac, Weihegold, Aaron, Wasabi OLD, Broere Argentino, Deja, Du Soleil, Zamora


  • Showtime, Boston STH, Bellmann, Delaunay, St. Emilion, N.O.H.'S Daijoubo, TC Athene, Heslegard's Rismon, Duccio, New Hill Julitrea, Tobajo Pik Disney


  • Sanceo, Sa Coeur, Capri Sonne, Sir Donnerhall II, Discovery, Carinsio, Stand By Me OLD, Charmeur, Bordeaux, Sir Fashion, Galliani Biolley,  Badinda Altena 


  • Desperado, Damon's Satelite, Dream Boy, Zonik, Diva, Duke of Britain, Delioh von Buchmatt, Zick Flower, Dior, Donna Anna, Annarella Di Villagana, Rebana W, Damon's Delorange, Bailamos Biolley, Statesman, Cavalia, 


  • Belantis, Ferdinand BB, Franziskus, Eye Catcher, Soiree d' Amour, Ebony, Expression, Destiny, Del Magico, Rossetti, 


  • Fiontini, Sandbaeks Rio-El , Adrenalin Firfod, Quantum, 


  • Glamourdale, Governor, Heiline's Danciera, Bohemian, Frieda, Flanell, Bluetooth, Kipling, Addict de Massa, Actuelle de Massa, Ferrari STH, Donna Elena

2017 (not all of them yet at international GP level, but close)

  • Haute Couture, Astoria, D'Avie, Matchball OLD, Sisters Act, Hesselhoej Donkey Boy, Revenant, Don Joe, Kartsevo Hummer, Gerion, Quel Filou, Gaudi Vita, Straight Horse Don Tamino, Goldfinch,  First Apple, L'Arbuste, Fleau de Baian, Forte MG,  Fendi T, Status Royal, Roberto Carlos MT

2018 (not all of them yet at international GP level, but close)

  • Hermes, Total Hope, Revolution, Indian Rock, Romero de Trujillo, Ironman H, Habana Libre A, Ferrari OLD, Greek Air, Gotilas, J2L Lamborghini, Mejorano HGF

2019 (not all of them yet at international GP level, but close)

  • Jovian, Queenparks Wendy, Destacado FRH, Inclusive, For Joy, Carraciola MT, 

All scores and coverage of the WCYH over the years are in our archive