Form and Function: How Hunter Jumper-Equitation Holland and Michael Meller Challenge Tradition in Europe


Hunter Jumper-Equitation Holland (HJE Holland) has taken new steps to conquer Holland with hunter classes and a Native American formula. The organization has partnered with M. Michael Meller, owner of MMM Horseman and QBS Equestrian, which provides several new opportunities. The winner of the M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award, presented in the past to greats like McLain Ward, Beezie Madden and Jessica Springsteen, will receive a very special prize: an all-expenses-paid ten-day study trip to the US that trains with the top riders.

Every young rider at least once in his life imagines being in the spotlight with a gold medal at the top of the podium or feeling the cheering crowd as they run into the lap of honor in a crowded stadium. The grandeur and magic of showjumping have always attracted audiences to Europe, however, as showjumping is the only discipline offered by showjumping in most parts of the continent, showjumping has an absolute monopoly on the state of the sport in the past and present. With the help of Hunter-Jumper Equitation Holland and the support of generous sponsors such as M. Michael Meller and QBS Equestrian, the sport’s future has a broader and more open future.

anti flow

Hunter-Jumper Equitation Holland (HJE Holland) is an organization headquartered in the Green Valley Estate in Deurne, with the goal of bringing the American way of riding, such as the Hunters and Equivalent divisions, to Europe in order to offer an alternative to the current high speed and time-based jump competition. By offering fun and relaxing events, HJEHolland wants to inform riders young and old alike of the importance of having a good foundation in riding style and horse welfare. HJE Holland pushes against the tide to start a new wave of equestrianism and camaraderie for cyclists of all levels to enjoy.

HJEH’s Hunter and Equitation majors are judged by Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) certified professionals using their own time-honoured rules and traditions. In the hunters category, judges focus on the performance of the horse or pony, while equation classes are judged based on the rider’s style and effectiveness over the course of the course. While these disciplines are open to riders of all ages, in both the US and HJE Holland, these disciplines serve as the foundation of American riding and have produced many of the best athletes in the world such as McLain Ward, Beezie Madden, Jessica Springsteen and more.

The art of horse riding

To bring this highly successful model to European audiences, HJEH has partnered with American jockey, trainer, owner and philanthropist M. Michael Meller to create a new and challenging equestrian class, the M. Michael Meller International Equestrian Medal.

Michael Miller

Miller, of MMM Horseman and QBS Equestrian, has been a lifelong racer. After riding at a young age, the Rhode Island native rose through the ranks of the American equation system as a rookie competing in the “Big-Eq” classes and eventually progressing to the jump ring. With an enduring interest in quality young horses, Miller has found his place as a trainer and has helped develop some successful horses that have competed in the FEI WBFSH Jumping World Breeding Championship for Young Horse in Lancain, the Longines Global Champion Tour and the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ events.

The primary goal of Miller and QBS Equestrian is to train and develop young horses and riders in order to pass the art of riding to the next generation. With this in mind, Miller created the M. Michael Meller Award for riding style. Awarded to athletes such as Margie Engle, Kent Farrington, Brian Moggre, Eric Navet and many more, the award has been received by internationally competitive showjumping riders of the highest standards in equestrian, athletic and style, both at home and abroad. outside the ring.

great ideas

When Miller decided to cross the sea and expand his business into the European market, he teamed up with start-up organization HJE Holland to bring his American-style expertise to an eager audience. Working with friend and colleague Joanne Scharfenberger-Laarackers, Vice President and Head of Training and Educational Development at HJEHolland, Miller wanted to design a competition that would give riders a foundation for good riding technique and reward them with the prestigious honor of winning a Style Award.

Patricia Bede van Mottmann and Joan Scharfenberger Larackers during the award ceremony. Photo: Mathilde Treciani

Joan commented, “I remember walking the course with Michael when we were young, up and coming riders, and enjoying his philosophical take on the technical challenges we were going to face. According to Michael, most riders seem to make it more complicated than it should be and I agreed! He was full of great ideas.” His vision of bringing horses and riders together to give them a chance of success is a great concept with the result of putting the welfare of horses first.His idea of ​​sponsoring an equestrian class here in Europe will encourage more riders to work hard to perfect their riding skills and it is important to make the equation a permanent specialty here “.

Again in his lecture, Miller said, “I am honored to have helped bring this new chapter to life with HJE Holland. The chapter and organization bear witness to our core beliefs in QBS Equestrian and the MMM Horseman. The care and attention to detail that HJE Holland has invested in developing young horses and jockeys and teaching them the proper art of riding Deserves a round of applause.They bring riders back to basics, and create unique opportunities for them to achieve something beyond the nice strip or the fastest time.After HJE Holland’s show, riders will have a better understanding of the fundamentals of riding that serve as the building blocks to truly succeed in the sport.I respect The tremendous effort has taken something from the grassroots to this level and I am confident that our aligned beliefs will help empower the next generation of riders and horses.

good base

The M. Michael Meller International Equestrian Medal sponsored by QBS Equestrian is a new competition open to riders 35 and under. The two-lap competition is located at a height of 100-110 cm and the first round consists of 8-14 obstacles. The top six contestants who scored points will be called to compete in the second jump round and also split the prize money of €200. The second course contains a “test”. Miller’s dedication to developing “form with function” riders led to his decision to develop a class that rewards competitors not on how fast they can ride technical courses, but how they demonstrate efficient style and functional form. Try to create a real chapter partnership with their horse.

“Riding is all about form and function,” says QBS Equestrian’s Miller. “It serves as the building blocks for understanding the mechanics of riding and encourages not only proper form and style, but good riding and riding, not just as a means of passenger transportation. Each rider has their own unique style that evolves as they grow and mature in their style, but it all comes back to basics: a good foundation. I believe that riding rewards those who find the balance of harmony in a ride in which the horse and rider move together as one. That is the true meaning of partnership.”

Delden office

The semester is scheduled to begin during the HJE Holland Fair that will take place May 14-15 at the Perseverance Equestrian Plaza in Ambt Delden. The first of many to be held. A rider who competes in at least three categories during the 2022 season is eligible to win the M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award. As an added bonus to the already prestigious title, the winner will have the chance of a lifetime to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Wellington, Florida to ride and train with riders on behalf of Miller and QBS Equestrian during the 2023 winter season.

Miller explains: “Wellington is not only a Mecca for showjumping, but especially for the equation divisions and fishermen. Among the sport’s best junior runners to have won the ASPCA Maclay and other major equation championships, many are in Wellington for the winter. The rider who shows the best will be available for the rider who shows the best Styles, style, sports and riding skills on and off the track have the opportunity to train and ride alongside these great young athletes and learn from the best players in the sport.” .

Well-being comes first

In a world where sport seems to operate with a tunnel vision, focusing only on speed and altitude, HJE Holland and M. Michael Meller of QBS Equestrian bring new and diverse developments to the European competition structure. By aligning core beliefs and values, their partnership takes root with the hope of seeing a change in the next generation of riders who, like HJE Holland and M. Michael Meller, put horse care first.

After competing on May 14-15 at Ambt Delden, the competition returns on June 3 at CH de Wijk in De Wijk with the M medal. From amateur to professional. For more information or to register, go to www.hjeholland.nl.

Text: Olivia Earhart

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