Kapelstraat 12  5595 GK  Leende

A great Dutch championship!

Hello everyone!

I finally have time to make a report about the Dutch championships. Right now we are home again. This Dutch championship in Hoofddorp was awesome and unforgetable! 

On Monday morning I rode Showboy, Authentic and Vanquisch at home as we couldn't train in the main arena at the show that day. At the show there were other arena's to train but Marcel and I decided to train at home.

Around 4 PM we arrived at the show in 
Hoofddorp. Our stable rider Maddy joined us as we had three horses and of course our son Stan so otherwise it was a bit too much. Fortunately my parents came over as well to take care of Stan. That was very useful.  

On Monday evening we just hand walked the horses at the show ground. We organized our stuff and we parked the truck. The horses immediately were quite in their stalls so we did not have to worry about them.  

On Tuesday the ZZ-zwaar class started at 2:30 PM. Authentic and I had to go as third and with 
Showboy I was second last. At 11 AM we could train in the main arena but we dicided not to do this as there was not much time between this moment and the test. In the morning we hand walked Showboy and Authentic. I trained Vanquisch as his first test was on Wednesday. 

During my warming up 
Authentic felt really nice and the test was good. We had a few small miscommunications: the rein back was not so smooth and one step too much and two changes could have been more uphill. Anyway, we were very satisfied about our 'princess'.  We got over 67% and we came fifth. 

Then it was up to 
Showboy: he did a very good job. We had no mistakes in the test and we scored over 72%. We won the class and we were 4% ahead on the runner up, Emmelie Scholtens!

As we do every evening, we hand walked the horses this evening as well. Then we had dinner and went to bed. 

Wednesday certainly wasn't my best day.. I was a bit unlucky... All three horses had to compete. Showboy was first and I was the first rider of the test. It was everything exept quiet around the ring. Next to the ring there was a big swimming pond and there were many people. The first problem was Showboy was affraid to go around the ring because of this swimming pond. Fortunately he relaxed and trusted me and then we went around the ring. We were both focussed again. In walk he was too tensed and I was a bit carefull to let him more open his frame and this cost points. Than the canter tour. Perfectly I started my first pirouette but I made it too small and it was not possible for Showboy anymore. He changed and stopped.. Shit, shit... and the pirouette counts x2. The mark I got was a 3, x2... Then we had a mistake in the tempi changes. I was disappointed but I was happy the way Showboy was. He is not used to a multi day competition and every time he does his utmost best!! We came second. Emmelie Scholtens won this test. Still, we were on top of the standings after two tests. The final test was the freestyle kur on Sunday.  

Authentic was one of the lasts to go in this class. She was more spectacular than on Tuesday. Unfortunately we got two mistakes in the canter tour and we got a three and a zero for a not shown change.. This cost points but I was happy they way I could ride her. 

The last to go this day: Vanquisch. He did a very good job. We didn't make big mistakes. We could have worked more on details. The difference betwee the judges was big: two jugdes ranked us sixth with over 68% but one judge ranked us second to last with only 63%. We ended up tenth. Nevertheless, we were very satisfied about Vanquisch.

The next day, Thursday, I only had to ride the 
Intermediare 1 test with Vanquisch. Authentic wasn't ridden in the final as I was allowed to ride only one horse in the final. Showboy's next performance was on Sunday so I trained the horses in the morning. 
Anky had come to help me with Vanquisch, that was nice. Vanquisch was sharp and the test went well. The first part was super. The zig-zag in canter could have been a bit nicer but the rest was good. At the end of this test you have to make a transition from canter to trot and than on the diagonal extended trot. I could not get him to go into trot and we were already on the diagonal and we were still not in trot. Too bad.. big mistake.. We finished 12th with over 67%. We regret this mistake but we are so happy with all the progress Vanquisch makes in the ring. Even Anky said test is getting better every time. 

On Friday and Saturday we just trained the horses as I did not have to perform. On Friday morning Anky came to help me training Showboy. On Saturday Marcel and I trained together. 

I have to admit, these two days were very exciting. I was in the lead after two tests but there was still the freestyle kur to music to come... As we always do, we walked our horses sevaral times a day. We had dinner in Zandvoort (near the sea). That was nice but I didn't want to leave my horses alone for too long so we didn't stay very long

Finally it was Sunday morning, the day of the kur... 
Showboy and I had to go as lasts. During my warming up I saw Diederik van Silfhout very happy after his test. He got 78%! When I entered the arena I also saw the score of Emmelie: 77%..pfff not an easy job! The first part of our kur was super. The walk was good as well. In my kur I do two lines with tempi changes: 5 every 4th stride and 5 every 3rd stride. I got on the diagonal for the first tempi changes and Showboy was tensed. It went wrong... There was no other way than going on and trying not to make more mistakes. We did super pirouettes (rewarded with a 9) and the tempi changes every third stride were perfect. I decided not to do the tempi changes every 4th stride again. I had one line but that was music to trot, not to canter. So I just finished my freestyle as I always do and this went really well. I was super satisfied and it is very exciting to wait for the results.... 
I got my results and I thought it wasn't enough for gold. Then Marcel ran to me and said I won, I was Dutch champion! I couldn't believe it! The prize giving ceremony was great and even 
John Salden, Showboy's owner and his wife had come all the way from Switzerland! 

In a short time so much happened. There was a press conference and a Dutch reporter Jacob Melissen who interviewed me. You can watch this interview 

The first thing I did after the interviews was going to 
Showboy to hug him! In the meantime John had arranged champagne!

Unfortunately then it was time to go home again. We had to pack a lot after one week in Hoofddorp. We watched the Grand Prix freestyle of the Dutch seniors and then we returned to our own barn. 

I would like to thank everyone for all the support I got. I got so many text messages. Some supporters had come to Hoofddorp to support! That was great! Many thanks!! 

Lots of love