Willem Greve: “You can feel he gives his all, that’s very special”
Day two of the European Championship has come to an end. A championship-worthy yet fair course was today’s task at hand. The standings were shuffled and the ten best countries qualified for the final of the team championship. Three KWPN horses in the top 15 and TeamNL fighting back to secure that spot in the final made it another good day in Milan.
Martin Fuchs and Leone Jei (Baltic VDL out of Dara ster prest IBOP-spr PROK by Corland, bred by G.M. van Mersbergen of Udenhout) could not hold on to their individual silver position as they incurred an undeserved rail down on the last fence and tumbled down the rankings to the 15th position. That same jump proved equally unlucky for the KWPN-approved stallion Highway TN (Eldorado vd Zeshoek out of Zelana V reg. A. PROK by Chellano Z, bred by P. Verdellen Paarden Fok & Opfok of Horst). Ridden by Willem Greve he jumped an exemplary round and made a significant contribution to the Dutch team result. Greve was full of praise about the Eldorado van de Zeshoek-son.
Fan club for Highway TN
“I had a great feeling today, he jumped superbly. A light touché on the last obstacle, but that was the joker fence of today’s course. Apart from that, he was fantastic. He was relaxed and I also rode better today. It was smooth sailing today. Everything comes easy to him then, and he really tried his heart out”, beams Greve with pride. The 11-year-old stallion was even supported by his own fan club.
TeamNL catches up
Jos Lansink’s TeamNL soared the rankings from the 12th position to the seventh. “A lot has happened today, we had to play catch up. The gap towards the medals is very big though, and we still must ride well tomorrow. However, we are still in the race, and I am going to give it my all today to get the maximum result”, continues Greve. When we ask Willem Greve about the strong suits of Highway TN, he takes little time to respond. “That he wants to be there, he is incredibly careful, and has plenty of scope.” Highway TN charged through the course today. “If you see how easy it comes to Highway, that’s also a matter of experience and power. We are getting more and more in sync; it’s becoming steadier and more harmonious. You can feel he gives his all, and that is very special.”
“This championship is good for him”
During the warm-up Greve does not let the stallion jump many fences. “It’s a warm-up, loosening up those muscles. He must jump effortlessly, that last jump in the warm-up ring must be relaxed. Not forcing anything, just rely on the quality, which he has in abundance. This experience, this championship, is so good for him, it makes him stronger physically and you get to know one another even better. It’s all so close, the level is so high, the difference is in the details. He gives his best and he has to that again tomorrow, hopefully luck is on our side”, says Greve.
Van der Vleuten happy with O’Bailey vh Brouwershof N.O.P.
The KWPN-recognised O’Bailey vh Brouwershof N.O.P. (Darco out of Hermeline van de Caatshoeve by Contact v/d Heffinck, bred by J.M. de Wilde of Sint-Laureins) made a crucial contribution to the Dutch result by picking up just one time penalty. “He jumped very well and tried so hard. It’s all new to him, so I am wary to keep him relaxed. I was happy how he coped with it all. He listens so well; I can plan my course down to the millimeter. Sometimes I can feel that deep down he is a bit impressed by it all, but he nevertheless wants to do his very best. Hopefully we can perform another round like this tomorrow. I am not under the impression that it took the most of him, so that’s positive. All horses must jump a demanding course for the third day in a row tomorrow”, responds Maikel van der Vleuten afterwards.
Iliana and Faltic HB set sight on medals
Sweden’s Jens Fredricson still heads the individual standing with Markan Cosmopolit (s.Cohiba), followed by Zinedine-son Zineday of Philipp Weishaupt and Dynamix de Belheme (s.Snaike de Blondel) of former Olympic champion Steve Guerdat. The Cardento-daughter Iliana (out of Destiny vb by Gentleman, bred by J.A.M. Bocken of Weert) jumped another exceptional round under Henerik von Eckermann and is on rtack to the podium from a sixth position on the intermediate rankings.
The reigning world champion has high hopes for his 10-year-old mare. The Baltic VDL-son Faltic HB (out of Beloma B elite IBOP-spr sport-spr D-OC by Concorde, bred by H.A. Brinkman and M. Huisman of Dalfsen) also jumped a clear round and claims the 14th place, the interval towards the lead position is less than one rail off. Germany tops the team championship, ahead of Sweden and Switzerland. The team final starts at 13.30 hours tomorrow and can be followed live via ClipMyHorse.tv.
All participating KWPN horses, the timetable, starting lists and results can be found in the special media guide.
Photo Highway TN and Faltic HB: Dirk Caremans