The Netherlands will not be sending a team to contest the FEI European Eventing Championships next month, instead choosing to send two experienced individual riders as the federation seeks to build towards the future.
Bettina Hoy, who was appointed as the National Coach of the Dutch Eventing team in January, has chosen elected to send Merel Blom (Rumour Has It) and Alice Naber-Lozeman (ACSI Harry Belafonte or ACSI Peter Parker) to travel to the championships at Strzegom.
Of her choice, Hoy commented: “These are two highly experienced riders with experienced horses who have also shown this season to be able to compete for that level. ACSI Harry Belafonte is the first choice for Alice with ACSI Peter Parker. For the other combinations that might have been considered for selection, I think it’s better to drive the necessary matches at 3 and 4 tier levels. Of course, my goal is to qualify a team for the Tokyo Olympics, but I also want to look forward to the longer term. Only in this way can we build a solid foundation for the future. ”
Maarten van der Heijden, Chief Executive Officer of the KNHS, is pleased with the influence of the German coach. He said: “Bettina has been extremely motivated, and I definitely have the idea that steps have already been taken by our eventers. The choice not to send a team now, but to focus on the long term, I think is fine and completely consistent with our strategy.”
When the European Championships were held at Blair Castle in 2015, the highest placed Dutch rider was Tim Lip (Keyflow NOP) in 18th. Blom, who has been selected to represent the country this year, finish in 20th whilst the team finished in fourth. Blom was also the highest placed Dutch rider at last year’s Olympics, where the team finished in sixth.