The dressage team finished fifth at the World Championships and qualified for the Olympic Games

The Dutch dressage team finished fifth on Sunday at the world championships in Herning, Denmark. With this, the Amazons achieved their main goal over the weekend: securing a starting ticket for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. That requires the team to be at least sixth. The title went to favorites Denmark.

National coach Alex van Sylhout called the goal “really very achievable” beforehand. A good first World Cup day laid the foundations for success. Ich Weiss of Tamar Swiestra/Hexagon and Dinja Van Lier/Hermès combined for 77.01 percent. That’s good for first place in the standings ahead of Germany and Denmark.

On Sunday, Marieke van der Putten and Emily Scholtens were unable to stay ahead of their horses Torvesletns Tranium RS2 and Indian Rock. The podium places were shared by Denmark, United Kingdom and Germany.

Young team

The Netherlands came to Herning with a remarkably young and relatively inexperienced team in both horses and amazons (the riders did not participate this time). It relates to the 2010 abandonment of three-time world champion veteran Edward Gall, 52, with his horse Totilas. Gale announced in a short message on social media in April that he would stop competing for a year.

The more experienced Hans-Peter Minderhout (48) did not make the selection for Herning after being on the long list because he and his horse were not in good condition.

The loss of Minderhout and Colin initially felt like “a spicy bloodletting,” national coach Alex van Sylhout said ahead of the World Cup. “I thought: God, what do we have to do this year? But so much has been revealed in the past two months. You can now see that there is a new top in width.

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The World Cup Experience

Of the four Dutch Amazons in Herning, Scholtens (36) was the only one who already had World Cup experience, but with a different horse. Dinja van Leer (31) was the best Dutch player at last year’s European Championships, but this time she was riding a different horse. At the European Championships he finished tenth in freestyle with the horse Haute Couture, but after a while the mare was sold to an American rider.

National trainer Van Sylhout was satisfied with the performance of the Dutch Amazons: “Beautiful things are going to happen in Herning, because the riders are getting better and better. There is a lot of development in these horses. We are here with young horses and we expect a lot from them.

Dutch participants will take action individually this week. Dutch champion Van Leer is third in the individual classification, which provides perspective for the coming days. On Monday the riders will ride the Grand Prix Special.

Ferdinand Woolridge

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