Para-gold for Daula II, Para-silver for Demantur and Alphaville
On the final day of the European Para-Dressage Championships, there was gold for Demi Haerkens, silver for Frank Hosmar and Sanne Voets, and bronze for Lotte Krijnsen. "I think they rode incredibly well in the finals," concludes coach Joyce van Rooijen-Heuitink. "A beautiful collection of medals together. I am very proud."
Demi Haerkens and EHL Daula N.O.P. won the titanic battle against her teammate Sanne Voets with Demantur RS2 N.O.P. in the Freestyle in Grade IV. It was gold and silver for the by far best riders in this Grade at the Equestrian Championships. Flawless performances with high levels of difficulty earned them scores of 82.070 and 81.595. Gold for Demi and silver for Sanne and that's already the second time at this Equestrian Championships.
All credits to Daula
Three times gold and winner of the team test is the conclusion when Demi Haerkens gets off from her magnificent mare EHL Daula N.O.P. "It's not normal actually, it's truly amazing," is her first reaction. "I don't have the words for it yet. I couldn't be happier with this freestyle. Daula is an amazing horse. All credit to her." Why not credit yourself? "Because I believe we do it together. Daula does a lot for me, and she means a lot to me. I haven't fully realized that I'm the best at the Equestrian Championships yet. That will come later. I think there's a lot more to come. We haven't reached our full potential yet. Now we're going to enjoy and celebrate."
Silver for Demantur RS2 N.O.P.
Voets rode right after Haerkens and was the last to ride in Grade IV. After a super performance, all eyes were on the scoreboard. There appeared 81.595. And that was just slightly less than Demi Haerkens' 82.070, who won all the tests at the Equestrian Championships. Sanne finished second three times and both were members of the gold-winning team in the team competition. "This was our best test of the three days. Demantur RS2 N.O.P. was in great shape. It's not fun to lose gold, but it doesn't feel like that. We're working hard towards something great for the future," said the leading Paralympic and World Champion.
Top-fit Alphaville N.O.P.
"There are around 40 of them," Frank Hosmar replies to the question of how many medals he has won at international championships. In Riesenbeck, he added silver in the Freestyle in Grade V with his 18-year-old gelding Alphaville, who showed himself in top form in the warm dressage arena of Riesenbeck International. "I'm very happy with it," Frank smiles. "I did my best. I left nothing on the table. The judges found Michèle George better. So, that's how it goes."
Expert Hosmar looks back very satisfied at the Equestrian Championships with silver in the individual test, first place in the team test and gold in the team competition with NLO-WVM-TeamNL. "It's a super result. Paris is the next goal now. But you don't have the final say. After Tokyo, Alphaville was very sick. It's about safeguarding that my horse and I stay healthy. I'm going back home with a good feeling. The steward even mentioned how well Alphaville is in shape. For me, that's a sign that I prepared well for this. That's the most important thing for me."
Image: Dirk Caremans