What a nerve wrecking senior final of the Dutch Championships! Golden boy Maikel van der Vleuten won the second manche and with that the Dutch Championship in thrilling fashion. Kim Emmen and Harrie Smolders surprised the odds and managed to climb up on the podium to secure themselves a silver and bronze medal.
The crowd was pumped up and raucous when it was time for the final of the Dutch Championships. The first round of today kicked off with 50 combinations. The international top course designer Louis Konickx set a challenging track for today, with the first round consisting of 12 numbered jumps and 15 jumping efforts set between 1.50m – 1.60m, followed by a second round with 11 jumps and 13 jumping efforts. Riders came into the first round in reverse order of placing, and in the second round as well. The tension was there!
It ain’t over ’til it’s over
Jur Vrieling was the biggest contender and took the lead from day 1, but it ain’t over ’til it’s over. The pressure was there and after clearing the first round it even got bigger. If Vrieling, last to go, jumped clear he would be the new Dutch Champion, with one fault it would be a bronze medal. But in the second round he saw two poles crash into the sand and his chance for a medal went up in smoke. Unfortunately. His partner Fiumicino van de Kalevallei jumped after the two dropping poles then an excellent round.
Not a single fault
The only horse that didn’t make one single jumping or time fault is crowned today as the Dutch Champion: O’Bailey vh Brouwershof. His rider, Maikel van der Vleuten, was happy with his second national senior title. Of course! “Everyone starts with that approach and in the end only one can win. I am happy with it, and certainly also with this horse. I honestly did not expect it, it is a horse with a great future ahead. This Dutch Championship was a great experience for him.”
The victory was an emotional moment for the seasoned top rider of TeamNL: “Every time we try to teach a horse from the bottom up to the top level. O’Bailey is one of them and we’ve been working with him for a few years now. A title like that gives a good feeling and a lot of satisfaction.”
The Queen between the Dutch lions
Kim Emmen’s time penalty in today’s first round was an expensive one, but still she performed as a real Queen between the Dutch lions. At her second Dutch Championship she ended up with the silver medal. Her lovely Island V G jumped his heart out for its rider and a wonderful season seems to be ahead for this pair.
Definitely not his last one
The seasoned rider Harrie Smolders took the handsome boy Uricas van de Kattenvenne to the Dutch Champions. It was the first championship of the 11-years-old stallion but definitely not his last one as they ended up with the bronze medal. It was the third time in his career that Smolders ended up at the podium. Leopold van Asten became fourth with VDL Groep Iron Z and Jur Vrieling completed the top five.