Dutch para-equestrian riders dominate in Uberherrn

Rixt Van Der Horst looked in perfect form ahead of September’s European Championships. 29 Jul 2015
Group picture of four people

A Dutch para-dressage team selfie at the competition in Uberherrn, Germany in July 2015. (L to R) Demi Vermeulen, Rixt Van Der Horst, Joyce Heuitink (Chef D'Equipe) and Nicole Den Dulk.

ⒸJoyce Heuitink
By Robert Howell | For the IPC

A perfect 10 from Dutch rider Rixt Van Der Horst helped the Netherlands continue their impressive run of victories at the recent three star para-equestrian dressage competition held 4-5 July in Uberherrn, Germany.

Competing in the middle of a blistering heatwave and against an international field of riders from as far afield as Singapore, Canada and the USA, the Dutch team took the majority of the individual medals and the Nations Cup team contest as well.

Grade II rider and current double World Champion Van Der Horst took both individual titles in her class riding Uniek N.O.P. to score 73.619% in the individual test and 79.083% in the freestyle. In both competitions, she finished ahead of Germany’s Steffen Zeibig in second place and the USA’s Rebecca Hart. Van Der Horst secured a perfect score of 10 points for one of the moves in her individual test.

Her teammate, Frank Hosmar, took the individual grade IV title on Alphaville N.O.P. with 73.730% ahead of Russian rider Natalia Martyanova and France’s Nathalie Bizet. Martyanova went one better to take the freestyle however, taking the win with a score of 74.417% on Iilion ahead of Germany’s Carolin Schnarre and the Netherlands’ Sabine Peters.

The grade III category was again dominated by the Dutch, with Lotte Krijnsen winning first (71.098%) and second place in the individual test on her horses Rosenstolz and Zarienta, respectively. Sanne Voets completed the Dutch sweep with a third-place finish. Krijnsen took the freestyle too (76.167%) ahead of France’s Louise Studer and another Dutch rider, Ilona Goes.

Austria’s Pepo Puch was dominant in the grade Ib competition. On new horse Fontainenoir, Puch won the individual title (75.747%) ahead of the Netherlands’ Nicole Den Dulk and Canada’s Ashley Gowanlock in second and third place, respectively. Those positions were repeated in the freestyle competition, which Puch also took with a score of 78.083%.

In the grade Ia competition, Singapores Laurentia Tan scooped up both titles on Ruben James; Tan scored 75.725% for the individual test and 77.917% for the freestyle.

The competition preceded the Hartpury Festival of Dressage, both events which provided a glimpse of prospects ahead of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Para-Equestrian Dressage European Championships in September in Deauville, France.