It was a happy Dutch team that entered the press conference in Rotterdam yesterday, and no wonder since the Netherlands hasn't won the Nations Cup on home soil since 2003.
"Today I feel great, but before the show I almost thought I had to go and buy the victory in Rotterdam to be able to win here," Chef d'Equipe Rob Ehrens joked at the press conference. "The riders did a tremendous job and we all wanted to win here. It worked out really well today."
About the upcoming Olympics, Ehrens said: "We have a big group of great riders, and I have the difficult part to make the choice. But there are a couple of more shows to come, and in the end we hope to have a team with the best riders and horses to defend the country in Rio. It is still quite a way to go, but it looks good and the riders are motivated. Everything is still open and at the end of Aachen I have to make my decision. So, after the Nations Cup there I will make my decision for the Olympic team. "
Harrie Smolders about going first and about Emerald N.O.P.: "If you have to go first you don't exactly know how the course is and my horse was a little spicy in the first round. He hasn't done a show after the Nations Cup in Rome. But, he did a beautiful second round and did an amazing job."
Maikel van der Vleuten about not having to ride in the second round: "To be the fourth rider in a team can give you more pressure of course, but in this case it made it easy for me. We have good horses and riders on the team. Verdi was very good and happy in the first round, and that is also the way he jumped I would say."
Text and picture © Jenny Abrahamsson
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