Rob Ehrens:

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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 a number of big names of these European Championships. Earlier, Isabell Werth, Alex van Silfhout and Fred Rozendaal, among others, shared their feedback, this time it is the turn of the chef d'equipe of the Dutch Show jumpers, Rob Ehrens.

Perfect facilities

“In terms of our performance, I don’t look back very happily, although I have to say that the sport in general was extremely good.” Ehrens begins his story. “Louis Konickx built great courses time and time again and the arena looked good all rounds. In fact, all the things we needed to have beautiful sports were in place. The training and warming up arenas and the stables were also excellent. A lot of attention was paid to it and I didn’t hear anyone complaining.”

Far away

“What I regret was the lack of audience on some of the days. What I have heard from the audience that was present, was that the Boulevard was far away. And that there were too little facilities for the public in the stadion. The Boulevard looked very nice in itself, it would have been nice if there was something like a train between the grounds and the Boulevard. What I heard from the people who were at the Boulevard was, that it was really fun.”

“I can be critical if I have to, but I think that very few people look back on these European Championships with a bad feeling. And the situation about the Boulevard was the same two years ago in Gothenburg, then I didn’t even go there. Let me be clear: I do understand the organization. It would not have been nice to have a very busy Stroodorp (merchandise village) close to the horses and the warming up arena's.”

Dutch sobriety

Yet Ehrens thought there was a good atmosphere. “Of course our riders are performing a little better when there is a lot of enthusiastic spectators in the stands, but that is not really typical Dutch either. For example, if we are on a horse show in France or Sweden, the public is going berserk when there is a clear round. For their home team, but also for the other countries. I think that is a bit due to the sobriety of the Dutch public. I cannot blame Rotterdam for that. I must say that I enjoyed the event immensely,” said the chef d'equipe.

photo credits: Danielle Vink

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