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Strong competitors and great innovations at 69th CHIO Rotterdam

08-06-2017 - CHIO - CHIO


Ahead of the 69th edition of CHIO Rotterdam, President Belle de Bruin and Managing Director Jan de Mooij have provided members of the press with a preview to the many innovations this year’s event has to offer. Goal is to make CHIO Rotterdam an even more attractive experience for riders, sponsors and spectators. Director Dressage Laurens van Lieren looked ahead to a very strong field of competitors in the dressage competition. Yves Houtackers, Director Showjumping, announced that the very top of the world rankings will compete in this year’s CHIO Rotterdam. 


This year, CHIO Rotterdam has invested greatly in the realisation of a new lay out of the show grounds and the renewal of all arena footings. The InterChem Dressage Stadium has switched places with the Dura Vermeer Warming Up Arena. This allows much more room for spectators to watch the CDI3* Grand Prix tests, the U25 competition for riders under 25 years of age and the finals of the Allianz Para-Dressage Trophy and CHIO South Holland Cup Dressage. The Dura Vermeer Arena is now a great deal bigger than before. CHIO Rotterdam has also renewed the all-weather footings in the main stage and the Dura Vermeer Arena. Additionally, the spectator walking route has been altered to feature a chic promenade and even more shops and vendors.

''CHIO Rotterdam strives to be among the best equestrian events in the world. This means we have to continue to grow and innovate’’, says Belle de Bruin, President of CHIO Rotterdam. ,,Additionally, we have been given the honour of hosting the 2019 FEI European Championships Showjumping, Dressage and Para-dressage. We want to be ready for that, and this gives us all the more reason to expand CHIO Rotterdam for this year and next year’s editions to prepare for those events.’'

‘'In just two weeks, we will kick off the 69th edition of the oldest international sports event in Rotterdam and the only 5* equestrian outdoor event in The Netherlands’’, says Jan de Mooij. ‘’There's a huge interest in the event. Tickets for the Dressage Freestyle test on Saturday night and the Longines Grand Prix Port of Rotterdam on Sunday are as good as sold out. Tickets for other days also sell well. Additionally, many businesses have again chosen the hospitality services our unique event has to offer.'' 

Dressage Director Laurens van Lieren is pleased with the extra capacity for the dressage side of the event. ,,Interest in dressage continues to grow. With Belgium, England, Germany, Sweden, the United States, France and the Dutch team all present for the Nations Cup, you can see the strongest dressage teams in the world compete right here in Rotterdam. We are very pleased to have so many strong Dutch riders in both the CDI5* and the CDI3* tests. The Americans, Swedes and Germans also have combinations that are at the top of their games at the moment. This includes Laura Graves (USA) with Verdades, who showed excellent form here last year and performed extremely well in Rio de Janeiro during last year’s Olympics. We have also invested heavily to increase the prize money for the FEI Nations Cup Dressage, of which the spectacular ending is always scheduled on a Saturday evening. For years now, there isn’t an empty seat left in the house. The people who perform to make this success happen should be rewarded accordingly.''

His colleague Yves Houtackers, Director Showjumping, also looks forward to a top-notch competition. ‘’With The Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy and Spain all competing, The FEI Nations Cup presented by Longines will feature an impressive seven countries from the Europe Division 1 who chose to come to our event. From Europe Division 2 we welcome our neighbours to the south, Belgium. Dutch coach Rob Ehrens has a very strong team for the FEI Nations Cup and of course we hope they can repeat last year’s result in Rotterdam. The Swedes have a very experienced team featuring, among others, Ralf-Göran Bengtsson and Malin Baryard-Johnsson. During the FEI Nations Cup events leading up to CHIO Rotterdam, the Italians have shown to be in excellent form. Individually, top riders like Markus Ehning and Steve Guerdat will compete alongside so many young combinations that are performing extremely well and which I have high hopes for. Lucia Diniz, the winner of last year’s Longines Grand Prix Port of Rotterdam, will also be back to defend her title.'' 

Maarten van der Heijden, KNHS Technical Director, announced the members of the dressage and showjumping teams competing on behalf of The Netherlands. 

Showjumping coach Rob Ehrens has selected the following riders: Jur Vrieling with Glasgow van ´t Merelsnest, Harrie Smolders with Don VHP Z of Emerald, Gerco Schröder with Glock´s Champblanc and Marc Houtzager with Sterrehof´s Calimero. Maikel van der Vleuten is the alternate rider.

Dressage coach Rien van der Schaft has selected the following riders: Diederik van Silfhout with Four Seasons, Madeleine Witte with Cennin, Hans Peter Minderhoud with Glock's Johnsonn N.O.P. and Edward Gal with Glock's Voice.

Additionally, CHIO Rotterdam is an important moment for coaches to gauge the form combinations are in ahead of the European Championship held in Gothenburg, Sweden later this year.  



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