• Manuel Añon Suárez
  • Competing for: Spain
  • From: Madrid
  • Age: 28

The opening of a local riding school near Manuel’s family home when he was a small boy of 8 would whet his appetite for what would soon become a prodigious and successful career. Just a few years later in 2008, Manuel Añon Suarez became the Junior European Champion in Prague – an event he cites as his most memorable career moment. Now aged just 19, he boasts a host of impressive achievements including winning Junior European Champion at Hoofddorp in 2009, 4th place at the Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Monte Carlo (2011), 2nd place at the Olympia Grand Prix (2011), 4th place at GCT Monaco (2011), 5th place at the World Cup in Vigo (2011), and wins at a number of Spanish championships.

While Manuel has been fortunate to learn under many fine trainers, he insists that his family remain his biggest influence: ‘Without their support, none of this would have happened.’ Excited about GCT this year, he says that the beauty of the tour is that it is a ‘top class competition where grooms, sponsors and riders are all treated the same.’