The CHIO Aachen CAMPUS as a stepping stone to top sport

Sara Aagard Hyrm, former participant of the Programme of Excellence

"This all-around package is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only make great strides as a rider, but also as an athlete."

The aim behind our Programme of Excellence is to pave the way for young and talented riders from all over the globe into top competition sport. Over the course of several months, we provide the top dressage and show jumping talents with all the tools they need to be well-equipped for the “big circus”. Because the content of our programme holds its promise: It really is excellent.

It is a huge privilege to be able to lend the talents the support of the head coaches, Isabell Werth (Rheinberg) and Jos Lansink (Belgium), who both look back on unique achievements on the international sports circuit: Both are Olympic gold medallists, World Champions and of course winners of the most difficult classes at the CHIO Aachen. The talents can profit from the know-how and skills of the two international stars of the equestrian sport scene in six training phases in total, all of which are staged at the famous CHIO showgrounds.

And as if that were not enough: Our programme offers many other experts, who will advise the aspiring young riders in fitness, media and food matters as well as assisting them with their training plan, horse and stable management or planning their careers.

Contact person:

Eliane Vonhoegen

Dressage: Isabell Werth

The world's most successful dressage rider of all time:

• seven-time Olympic champion

• nine world championship titles

• 25 European Championship medals

• CHIO Aachen record winner: 14 times winner of the Deutsche Bank Prize, Dressage Grand Prix of Aachen

Show Jumping: Jos Lansink

Outstanding international successes as a show jumper:

• Team Olympic Champion 1992 in Barcelona with the team of the Netherlands

• Winning the World Championship title at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen 2006 for Belgium

• Winner of the Rolex Grand Prix, the Grand Prix of Aachen 1992

National coach of the Dutch show jumpers

Maggie Kehring, USA, Jumping

It’s a lot of fun to be in Aachen and get an insight into all aspects of the equestrian sport. I take away something new each session and the conditions for horse and rider are great.

The training sessions with Jos Lansink have been a really positive experience. The way he is teaching is very encouraging and calm. There is a mutual respect between him as the trainer and you as the rider. He is watching everyone carfeully and explains how to get the best results. Jos manages to make the training fully customized to you and your horse, his training style is simple, not overcomplicated, and it works great. I absolutely feel ready to walk into a show ring afterwards.

In the ring, you only have two minutes, but those two minutes are everything. At the Programme of Excellence, I get prepared for this time in every possible way. Apart from the equestrian training there are different coachings, for example about mental health and nutrition, that absolutely help with becoming a more complete athlete. The physical training at the Klinikum covers subjects like coordination, balance and stretching which make you a better rider.

Throughout the sessions you’re able to connect with riders from all over the world that are in the same age group and that you normally wouldn’t meet elsewhere. Overall, the Programme of Excellence is a great opportunity and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Laura Laustsen, Sweden, Dressage

The Programme of Excellence is an awesome opportunity and I would definitely recommend it. It includes everything it needs to be a top athlete. This means it‘s not just your own riding, but also getting to know all the other girls. You get new contacts, new friends and you learn so much seeing the other participants train.

Isabell Werth is a great trainer. I like that she expresses the training not in a soft way. She is strict, but not too strict. She understands us girls and finds the right balance and tone. Every day and session is different, even if you work on the same task. For example Isabell helped me a lot with piaffe-passage for my Grand Prix horse. There‘s always new things to learn and she always has new tools for us.

But the Programme of Excellence includes so many things. I personally love the fitness part in the Uniklinikum Aachen. As riders we’re also athletes. We have to be strong to help our horses and our riding. This means we don’t just have to keep the horse strong, but also ourselves. So a fit body is a very important thing to bring to your horse, we owe it to them. In the Klinikum the main focus is core. That‘s the part where you have to be the strongest. But we also learn a lot about balance.

Workshops like mental health and nutrition complete the amazing programme. It is very interesting to gain new knowledge about feeling good and being healthy.


  • Aurelia Guisson (BEL)
  • Emma Bocken (NED)
  • Eva Kunkel (GER)
  • Lena Marie Zins (GER)
  • Maggie Kehring (USA)
  • Sophia Burgtorf (GER)
  • Victor Skutecky (CZE)


  • Capri Marie Raum (GER)
  • Emma Grandits (SUI)
  • Jette de Jong (BEL)
  • Laura Laustsen (SWE)
  • Leonie Koch (GER)
  • Nina zur Lage (GER)


Sports Medicine

Prof. Dr. Frank Hildebrand

Photo: Prof. Dr. Frank Hildebrand

Curriculum Vitae

• Director of the Clinic for Orthopedics, Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery, RWTH Aachen University Hospital (UKA)

• 320 listed publications

• over 500 lectures at national and international congresses

• Author of 30 book contributions

• over 20 international awards


Axel Kilders

Photo: Axel Kilders

Curriculum Vitae

• Head physiotherapist of physiotherapist at the Olympic Training Center of the University Hospital Aachen

• Sports physiotherapeutic outpatient physiotherapy at the University Hospital Aachen

• Head sports activities:

-Equestrian sports ( CHIO Aachen for 25 years )

-Soccer ( 2. Bundesliga )

-Tennis ( various ATP tournaments )

-car racing ( various 24h races for PORSCHE / BMW )

- and much more

• Main focus : Musculoskeletal physiotherapy


Pia Jensen

Photo: Pia Jensen

Curriculum Vitae

• Completed a degree in Sport Science at the German Sport University Cologne

• B.Sc. in Sport and Performance

• M.Sc. in Exercise Science and Coaching

• Obtained the “Advanced Sports Nutrition” certificate via a distance learning course of the FC Barcelona Innovation Hub

• Has been working at the GSU Cologne in the Institute for Biochemistry in the Sports Nutrition Department (Science, nutrition counselling, lectures) since 2019

• Freelances as a nutrition consultant and coach for athletes

• Author of the cookery book “Where’s the food?“ – recipes for athletes

• Her interest in sports nutrition was aroused by her own sporting career in athletics (800m)

• Passionately involved in the equestrian sport aged between 4 and 16

Media training

Birgit Eßer

Photo: Birgit Eßer

Top athletes come under the spotlight of public attention at a young age already. I support them in presenting themselves well when dealing with the media.

Curriculum Vitae

• Managing Director and Executive Coach of Redeakademie GmbH in Bonn and Berlin

• Graduate Communication Designer

• Business and Management Coach (ECA)

• She has been supporting top performers from the fields of business, sport and culture with their public appearances in front of audiences and the media for over 10 years

• Core competencies:

-Public appearance coaching

-Media training

-Presentation and pitch consulting

-Executive coaching & sparring

-Stress coaching, stage fright coaching

Training Theory

Matthias Bojer

Photo: Matthias Bojer

Curriculum Vitae

• Graduate sports scientist

• Specialist in the field of performance diagnostics and training control in equestrian sport

• Research prize for his diploma thesis "Functional-anatomical movement analysis of riding and consequences for rider-specific compensatory gymnastics"

• Breeder, rider and trainer in show jumping up to the heavy class

• Head of the equestrian sports research department at the German Sport University in Cologne, where he worked on the following topics

-Development of a fitness test for horses (in cooperation with Ludger Beerbaum)

- Training and supervision of international sport horses

-Lecturer with focus on sport horse training and rider fitness

Ideal infrastructure

As the westernmost city in Germany and located on the immediate border to the significant equestrian nations of Belgium and the Netherlands, the location Aachen lies in the heart of the international equestrian sport. Countless stars from the international equestrian sport scene live in the regions around the Cathedral City, which makes the border triangle extremely interesting for the equestrian sport both in terms of economic and marketing-related aspects.

The CHIO Aachen itself is a strong brand on the international top sport circuit. It stands for first-class equestrian sport, quality and internationality. The grounds at the Aachen Soers are without doubt one of the biggest and most popular equestrian facilities in the world. But it is not only a very special place for and during the event, thanks to the CHIO Aachen CAMPUS it is also a permanent and all-year-round centre for the international equestrian sport. In this way, the participants of the Excellence Programme can also profit from the unique infrastructure. We can make several outdoor arenas – optionally with grass or sand footing – available for the training sessions as well as two indoor riding schools (80 x 30 metres I 30 x 20 metres). The theory lessons take place in our modern office buildings.

For everyone, who wants to establish a further pillar in addition to the equestrian sport, many offers are available in the direct proximity: No other city can match the density and diversity of the universities, international schools and further training and advanced education options that North Rhine-Westphalia, which is located in the heart of Europe, offers.

Cross-Country Course

Main Stadium

Driving Stadium

Deutsche Bank Stadium

Stable Area



The participants of the CHIO Aachen CAMPUS Programme of Excellence 2023/24 have been determined.

More information

Are you interested in the Programme of Excellence? Then please contact us and we will send you further information.


The Excellence Program is supported by our cooperation partner University Hospital Aachen.

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