Para dressage a runaway success
Jumping Amsterdam is a highlight in the annual equestrian calendar, bringing together the world’s top riders in jumping and dressage in the wonderful ambiance of the capital’s RAI concourse. Talented young riders were given every opportunity to show their mettle at this year’s Jumping Amsterdam, while every member of the Netherlands’ successful para team also took part.
The Dutch para team has already garnered its fair share of medals under national coach Joyce Heuitink. Not content with the ten medals they won during the World Championships in Normandy, they again proved their worth at Jumping Amsterdam. On Friday January 30, Rixt van der Horst won the Para Dressage Trophy, a trophy co-sponsored by Rabobank Foundation to stimulate parasports and enable talented riders with a disability to gain experience competing in major events. Rabobank Foundation has been working together with the Dutch equestrian sport federation KNHS since 2012 to make equestrian sports more accessible to those with disabilities. The recent victories of the para team are seen as a crown on this cooperation. ‘It’s wonderful to see how the KNHS is using our donations to lift para sport to the next level. The results speak for themselves!’ said Roelie van Stempvoort from Rabobank Foundation.
Saturday saw another highpoint when world-famous rider and ambassador for the Rabo Talent Plan Anky van Grunsven announced the new Rabo Talent of the Year. Rixt van der Horst and her horse Uniek was the proud recipient of the award. The Rabo Talent Plan helps talented riders in pursuing an international career. In 2014 Rixt became the first para dressage talent to make it onto the team. ‘Thanks to my place in the Rabo Talents Team I’m given additional support and take lessons from the best trainers’, Van der Horst says. ‘Uniek and I are gaining so much experience. As such there’s a huge difference between the Netherlands and other countries that don’t have similar schemes. Rabobank makes the difference.’