Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping


Inside CHIO Aachen: U25 Interview with young rider Justine Tebbel

Justine Tebbel (Photo: Ingo Waechter Images) Justine Tebbel (Photo: Ingo Waechter Images)

How did you get into horse riding?

I was born on a farm and my whole family rides. I grew up constantly being around horses, so for me there was no other path and I never wanted to do anything else. I think I started riding when I was three or four-years-old and could almost ride before I could even walk!

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

An amazing moment in my career so far was in 2017, when I won a silver medal in the individual class at the FEI European Championship for Young Riders, Juniors, Children. It was my first year competing at the Young Rider Championships and my horse was just eight-years-old. I don’t think anybody expected us to do so well!

What are you most looking forward to about competing at CHIO Aachen?

I competed at CHIO Aachen last year, so I know the feeling you get when riding into the arena. The atmosphere is amazing, you really can’t describe it. To be around and watch the 5* riders who attend is both inspiring and motivating. Seeing how they prepare for this show and compete is a huge learning experience for young riders like myself. For me, Aachen is the best show in the world and I think everyone involved feels like there is something special about this show. I am so excited to compete there once again!

Which horses are you taking? Can you tell us a bit about them?  

I am taking Light Star, a 10-year-old stallion by Light On. I also rode him last year and he’s my best horse at the moment. I know that he is always happy to compete at Aachen and he jumped amazingly last year. He always makes me feel confident when we enter the arena. 

What are your thoughts on the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping?

To be able to compete in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is every rider’s dream, and to able you win it would make you the happiest person on earth!

What is the one competition you want to win the most?

I think it would have to be the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen. Once you’ve won, no one will forget you as a rider. It’s the most special and prestigious competition.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

I don’t really have one thing or one person who is my inspiration. I think it’s the team work between the horse and rider that inspires me the most. You and the horse are never perfect, but you are continuously learning from one another. I always want to be the best I can be, and I always love learning new things from my horses, as well.

Which riders do you idolise the most?

My father (René Tebbel), because he is the best trainer and rider in my eyes. He rode at both the Olympics and at the FEI World Equestrian Games™. He is such an inspiring trainer and rider and I try to learn as much from him as I can. The end goal is to be as good a rider as he is!

How much fitness do you have to do to be in peak condition?

Recently I have had to train a lot more due to my back injury. I couldn’t do anything for six weeks but now I am back to riding and training every day. I am also working with a physio two or three times a week, which is important for my recovery.

What does your daily routine look like? 

My daily routine changes and I don’t really have one thing that I do every single day. The most important thing to me is that my horse is perfectly prepared. When I’m at a show, I like to watch old videos of me riding to see what I did well and what needs improving. Watching past competitions helps me feel more confident before entering the arena.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

To never give up has been important advice for me, especially recently. When you are at the bottom, there is always something to get you back on top. You can never be perfect, but you can always learn and do better. To me, that’s the most important thing to remember.



Rolex Grand Slam & Young Riders

An integral part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is to target the fostering and development of young talent. Two young, exceptionally gifted riders from a young Riders Academy are invited to each of the four Rolex Grand Slam shows, where they gain invaluable experience at the very pinnacle of equestrian sport.

Three out of the four Majors, which make up the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping are staunch advocates of developing young, aspiring equestrian athletes. A national young riders class – the German U25 Trophy of the Stiftung Deutscher Spitzenpferdesport, Prize of Family Müter – features on CHIO Aachen’s competition programme each year; as part of its Summer Series, CSIO Spruce Meadows hosts the Alberta Power U25 Challenge, which consists of multiple U25 competitions; while a CSI U25 competition will be staged for the first time at this year’s edition of the CHI Geneva.

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