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Quotes after the European Championships; "The only thing you can try to do, is the same thing"

Sunday, 23 August 2015
European Championships Aachen 2015

Jeroen Dubbeldam is a true champion! Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Jeroen Dubbeldam is a true champion! Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

European Champion Jeroen Dubbeldam on the pressure he was under and the difficulties when going into the ring for the first round; “Sometimes it is not so easy for the horses here. I think it was in the first or the second round of the Nations Cup that I came in after Meredith, and she was clear so the crowd exploded - and so did my horse! So after that my horse was not quite the same anymore. I had to ask the crowd to be a bit quiet, but this is nothing I like to do because I love this. But sometimes we have this problem so we try to find a balance between enthusiasm and horsemanship, but I think in the end everything went well."

Dubbeldam on his horse Zenith SFN N.O.P. repeating his performances from the 2014 World Equestrian Games: "Last year it was his first year on that level, and he won the two gold medals at the World Championships in Normandy. As a rider you think how can you improve this, but you cannot. The only thing you can try to do, is the same thing - but it’s actually amazing after such a year like last year that straight away the year after he does the same thing again - because normally you see after such good results it’s even harder the year after. But with him it’s just unbelievable. It’s amazing, amazing.”

On Zenith’s qualities: “Well, I always believed in the horse also when he was young although we had our problems in the beginning. He is a horse that is quite sensitive and I had quite a bit of problems with controlling him. That he could jump and that he had the quality, that he was careful and that he had the scope everybody could see - I just had some problems controlling him, especially indoors and I could not keep him relaxed in the course and we got a lot of faults because of that. But through the years he got more experience, he got more relaxed and we grew together as a team."

Jeroen on taking individual gold medals at the Olympics, the World Championships and now also the Europeans; “This one was missing, so I was of course really, really sharp for this. But Aachen is one of the most difficult places to have a championship, still one of the nicest places though, and you know it’s going to be tough getting a medal with so many good riders and so many good horses. You can only dream that it comes true; there is no wisdom for it and you have to be a little bit lucky - and first of all the horse has to be fit and have a good day. So yes, this is a dream come true."

Silver medalist Gregory Wathelet: "First of all I want to congratulate my colleagues Simon and Jeroen. About my horse Conrad de Hus, I for sure had a program to bring him as best as I could for the championships here. The last two months he was getting better and better, in Chantilly and in Dinard he was jumping really good so I had a good feeling to come here. Before coming here, I did not expect that I would get a medal - but I wanted everything to be good for the championships. You have to have the right day and today I had that. He jumped really good here, and I knew if I was double clear today I could have a chance of a medal. Conrad was really fighting for me this week!"

Bronze medalist Simon Delestre: "I was not expecting it, but I was not far from the top three coming into the final. For sure I am really, really happy for myself. The horse is incredible; I had two fantastic rounds today. We have had an incredible season together and Ryan was also double clear here in the Grand Prix earlier this year."

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