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Paralympic Sports: Equestrian

Dutch delights at debut competition

Paralympic champion Sanne Voets scores her highest ever marks 12 Jun 2019
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female Para equestrian rider Sanne Voets feeding her horse
ⒸLiz Gregg
By Rob Howell | For the IPC

The Netherlands launched in spectacular style its new three-star international Para Dressage competition in Kronenberg over the weekend (6-9 June).

Not only were there double Dutch wins in three out of five grades’ competitions, but world and Paralympic champion Sanne Voets also scored her highest ever marks in an international event.

Riding Demantur N.O.P., she took the wins in the grade IV individual and freestyle competitions with 76.789 and 81.417 per cent respectively.

After the competition she shared her feelings through a Facebook post: “We ended this amazing show with an amazing score. We have had so much fun in the arena, riding a horse who has such a positive energy and always tries his heart out and to music that still carries me through the freestyle – there’s no better feeling in the world.

“A big shout out to the staff of the equestrian centre too. Such a great atmosphere – simply amazing!”

Voets’ team-mates Frank Hosmar and Rixt van der Horst were the other major winners of the weekend for the home team.

Hosmar, riding Alphaville N.O.P., topped the podium both times in the grade V contest, while 2014 and 2018 double grade II world champion van der Horst took both wins on Findsley N.O.P.

Italy’s double world champion Sara Morganti secured both the grade I titles on offer, riding Royal Delight.

Grade II’s honours were shared between Austria’s Pepo Puch on Sailors Delight, who won the individual title, and Netherlands´ Nicole Den Dulk, who won the freestyle on Wallace N.O.P.

The Dutch riders also scored an impressive team competition victory, while there were podium finishes for the likes of Latvia’s Rihards Snikus in grade I, Belgium’s Barbara Minecci and Netherlands’ Demi Vermeulen in grade III, and Russia’s Natalia Martyanova in grade V.