An opening in the German Junior Riders' Team originated for Desiree Schurf when Julia Katharina von Platen had to pull back due to an injured Mocca. The 17 year old from Bedburg, Germany, easily made the change from ponies to horsies in one year time. While she was still part of the golden team with FEI dressage pony Dressman I at the European Pony Championships in Le Touquet in 1998, this year Schurf scrolled over the Junior Rider qualifiers making good results. At the last German JR selection show in Bad Honnef, Schurf placed sixth with her chestnut gelding Maldini. Scores of 64.17% and 64.05% sufficed to become the reserve rider of the team.
With Mocca's unfortunate injury Desiree's opportunity to participate in the EUJRC came into existance. Chef d'Equipe Holger Schmezer did no wrong by taking Schurf to Austria as the 17 year old unfurled herself as 5th best Junior Rider in Europe, setting marks between 69.40% and 72.33%.