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WoSJ Exclusive; Wout-Jan van der Schans "The Eurocommerce horses & I seem to bring each other luck"

Monday, 21 November 2011

Eurocommerce Seoul is one of Wout-Jan's super stars. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Wout-Jan van der Schans has enjoyed huge success this year; he has won big classes in Aalst, Eindhoven, La Boissière Ecole, San Giovanni, Hardelot, Dortmund – and recently he won the Gold Cup in Munich as well as taking home a first prize in Oldenburg. WoSJ decided to find out more about Wout-Jan and his winning ways.

When did your cooperation with Eurocommerce start?
“I started to ride some of the Eurocommerce horses in January 2010. Mr. Visser phoned me between Christmas and New Year’s 2009 as there were some changes in their team. He wanted to buy a horse for me, but as time progressed we didn’t find any to buy,” Wout-Jan smiles. “Eurocommerce has so many good horses in their stable, so I said to Mr. Visser that he must have some for me among his own,” The Dutch rider laughs. “And turns out he did!”

A winning pair; Eurocommerce Sacramento & Wout-Jan in Munich.Which horses do you currently compete for Eurocommerce?
“I have six horses from Eurocommerce. Eurocommerce Sacramento is one of them – an 11 year old Danish warmblood by Leendert x Corlando. Right after I got him Sacramento started off with a win in Geesteren, and it couldn’t have been a better start! And he has been consistent ever since; he has done really well this season,” van der Schans says happily. “I also have Eurocommerce Seoul that was previously ridden by Ben Schröder. It’s also a really nice horse who started winning straight away,” he says of the 10 year old Belgian gelding. “Seoul has a good record this season with victories and good placings”. “Then I have Eurocommerce Miami, but unfortunately he got injured after four months. Now he’s back in good shape though and was second in the Grand Prix in Strazeele,” Wout-Jan explains.

“About two months ago I got a really nice stallion called Eurocommerce Canturano. He’s by Canturo, and is eight years old. He’s a bit inexperienced, but looks promising! At the same time I got Eurocommerce Panama and Eurocommerce Zürich. The latter is seven and also a little inexperienced, but he looks really nice as well. “

What has been the key to your success this year?
“The Eurocommerce horses and I seem to bring each other luck,” van der Schans laughs. “And when you have such good horses that complement each other it makes all the difference! It’s also how life works; thing go up and down. Now I’ve been lucky and I’m in a good spiral – I hope it stays like that for a few years,” he smiles!

The smile is not far away when you meet Wout-Jan!What’s your goal for 2012?
“I did some Nations Cups this year with Seoul, a hope to do some more next year. And of course my goal is to qualify for the Olympics. My last Olympics was in Seoul in 1988, so with a horse with the same name I think it’s only appropriate that I should ride in London – preferably with Gerco on Eurocommerce London,” he laughs about the well-named Eurocommerce horses.

What kind of business do you run back home in Holland?
“I have a big stable that I rent about half an hour outside Amsterdam – in Nijkerk. We have around a hundred boxes, and I use fifty of them. Adeline Cornelissen is also based there and she has 25 boxes, and the rest is private people. Adeline and I have one indoor school each, so we really don’t see that much to each other – it’s not like I have to ask to put up a fence,” van der Schans smiles when telling us about the facilities. “When she was due to move there it was actually only one, but as we both have a lot of horses and do a lot of training the owner put up another indoor and the problem was solved!”

“I do a little horse dealing, but not much. I’m riding and competing more now, but it’s nice to have the dealing to fall back on,” he explains.

In action on Eurocommerce Miami!Do you have any students training with you?
“I have some, but less than before as I’m away so much now. I have some young riders training with me, like Stephanie van de Brinck. Then I have my son based with me; Patrick, who is 24 years old. Together we have around 25 horses in competition,” Wout-Jan explains.
“Patrick rides our own horses now, as I have access to the Eurocommerce ones. Two months ago Patrick also got two really nice horses from Stal Broere. It’s really nice to work with Patrick,” the sympathetic Dutch rider closes of.

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