During the test event for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, WoSJ took the opportunity to ask Belgian rider Dirk Demeersman – who has enormous championship experience with three Olympics, two World Championships and four European Championships under his belt – about his verdict on the facilities in Normandy.
"It looks good here. The stadium is very nice, the footing looks great and it also feels very comfortable for the horses. There is a big warm-up, and we have another one on the other side which the organizers told me they will put a tent over – and the way down to the arena is great. In comparison to Kentucky, where the stables were very far away, here everything is really close. I must say that I'm positive. Until now I haven't found anything that bothered me. I think it can be a very good championship. And it will probably be a fantastic atmosphere here, the stadium is very nice and not too big."
And what about your chances to make it into the team?
"I come as a trainer! It is easier," Dirk laughs. "Then I can say what the other ones are doing wrong. But if I had a horse I for sure would like to compete."
What do you think about the chances for the Belgian team?
"It is difficult to say. Until now the team did very well this year. If everything goes well they can go on the podium. A good position among the five top teams would be great, then we are qualified for the Olympics."
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