The Dutch Championships for senior riders in Mierlo are one of the most important shows for riders in Netherlands to prove themselves in front of Chef d’Equipe Rob Ehrens at the beginning of the outdoor season. 22-year-old Frank Schuttert gave it all from the first to the last day and took the gold medal aboard Go Easy de Muze (Vigo d’Arsouilles x For Pleasure).
With the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio coming up in August, the Dutch riders had to show their shape for the outdoor season in Mierlo. However Maikel van der Vleuten did not compete at all and Jeroen Dubbeldam, Gerco Schröder and Harrie Smolders did not pick their number one mounts for the championship. Olympic squad rider Jur Vrieling and reigning Dutch champion Leopold van Asten went with their best horses to Mierlo though.
And not without success, since Jur Vrieling rode his impressive stallion VDL Zirocco Blue N.O.P. (Mr. Blue x Voltaire) to a silver medal finishing on a total score of 1.37 penalties. Aboard his second mount VDL Glasgow van ‘t Merelnest (Nabab de Rêve x Darco), Jur Vrieling also had no knockdowns throughout the entire championship and finished on a bronze medal position. However, according to the regulations one rider can only win one medal so reigning Dutch Champion Leopold van Asten and his fabulous VDL Groep Zidane N.O.P. (Heartbreaker x Calando I) took the bronze medal.
Although Frank Schuttert is only 22-years-old, he already took the bronze medal at the Dutch Championships aboard Winchester HS (Numero Uno x Nimmerdor) back in 2014. Last year, he went into the final as number one on the standings, but had a fall in the first round of the finals. This year, Schuttert was settled in runner-up position aboard Jos Lansink’s Go Easy de Muze. Michael Greeve was on top of the standings, having a clean sheet with Whitney BB (Nabab de Rêve x Calido I).
Until the final round, the best nine riders were less than four penalties away from each other and Frank Schuttert was only 0.49 penalties away from Michael Greeve. After a breathtaking, but excellently ridden final round from Frank Schuttert and Go Easy de Muze, the eyes were on Michael Greeve. A single knockdown with Whitney BB seemed to place him into bronze medal position, but with the addition of a time penalty Michael Greeve ended in fourth place.
Although many did not expect the victory of Frank Schuttert and Go Easy de Muze, Jos Lansink’s stable rider has had the focus on the Dutch Championships for months. “I went to this championships with an excellent feeling. Go Easy de Muze has had a very good preparation before this championships, including a fourth place in the Grand Prix of Lanaken two weeks ago.”
For Frank Schuttert, it was the first time he rode Go Easy de Muze on a championship. “Go Easy has been in Jos Lansink’s stable for two years now. At first, I have ridden him for almost a year. Then Jos himself took over the reins for a couple of months and in November last year I went on to ride him again. I always had a very special feeling on Go Easy de Muze and now I have proven his talent on this championship in front of everyone.” The Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games might seem far away for Frank Schuttert, but he is still on the long list. “You never know what happens. Hopefully I will get the chance to ride some Nations Cups, so I can prove myself again,” Dutch Champion Frank Schuttert smiles.
Text © World of Showjumping by Peter van der Waaij // Picture © Digishots.nl.
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