Alex van Silfhout: “The OC made everything possible”

JP IMG 0737 Alex van Silfhout portret

The medals of the Longines FEI European Championships Jumping, Dressage and Para Dressage are divided. The riders, horses and other team members have arrived home safely and can look back on an exciting event. We speak with some of the stakeholders of the European Championships. Earlier Isabell Werth and German chef d'equipe dressage told about their experiences. Now it’s up to the Dutch chef d'equipe dressage Alex van Silfhout!

A fantastic job

The Dutch chef d'equipe looks back with great pleasure on his week in Rotterdam. “It was of course very good for us to win such a medal. And the para dressage riders also did a fantastic job, so if things go that well you usually look back positively. It was a competition on home soil this year, that made it extra fun.”


Alex van Silfhout and his riders finished the FEI Longines European Championships in Rotterdam with a somewhat unexpected silver team medal. We arrived in Rotterdam in and underdog position, estimated for a fifth or sixth place and then it is extra nice if you suddenly stand on the podium with a silver medal around your neck. And when this happens for your home audience, it means even more than when you are abroad,” says van Silfhout.

Little difference

The first days it was a bit quiet at the stands, but for the riders that made little difference according to the national coach. “As a rider you just have to ride your program. It is of course true that you experience a bit more pressure when the stands are full with enthusiastic crowds. Then I think you all want to do it a little better and finish it even nicer. But it didn’t matter to the riders I brought with me. They always want to deliver top performances.”


At the boulevard the riders and other team members walked, ate and celebrated among the spectators. The chef d'equipe liked this a lot. “I thought the Boulevard was beautiful! Unfortunately, the first two days there was not much people around. The distance between the ring and boulevard was a bit far, which was a thing for people, yet the idea remains fantastic. Also, the celebration on the boulevard was a super idea!”

Everything was possible

These EC's ware all well organized. I have heard almost no negative feedback from people. Everyone was very satisfied with how everything was taken into account. Sometimes you come up from those competitions where it is only ‘no’ and ‘it’s not possible’, but this organization really tried to make it work. I can therefore say that the entire team looks back on a super event!”

photo credits: Jessica Pijlman

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