Comments from riders after The Netherlands won team gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy. In second was France side, with the USA taking bronze.
Beezie Madden USA
1st on Cortes C
My horse came through for me fantastically today, we had a couple of light tiffs today but nothing too hard and they all stayed up, so a great team effort. Its been an amazing atmosphere here and crowds are fantastic; they are educated and all for the home team, which is how it should be, but they also appreciate good sport, so it has been a lot of fun.
As I was going down the ramp to go in the ring Ludger (Beerbaum) had one down and they said yeah, for sure we have a chance of a medal now so it was kind of inspiring. [On Cortes C’s fitness] That will probably be the big question this week because since I was injured in the spring he hasn’t done a whole lot and when I did show him in Hickstead and Dublin he looked so fantastic, coming out fresh like that, so we didn’t do anything with him since. I’ve done a lot of work getting him fit at home, riding him several times a day, but whether he’s show-ring fit or not we’ll have to wait and see.
Rolf-Goran Bengtsson SWE
2nd on Casall Ask
We (the Swedish team) had one too many down today, but we have qualified for the Olympics and we have to be happy with that. My horse has been very consistent all summer, he has done many of the Global Champions Tour competitions, all three rounds, and he had a little break then and now he came back, he’s fresh. He really likes to be on show again and I must say he has been giving everything in these rounds up to now and I really hope he can continue jumping like this.
[On Saturday’s competition] you have to stay cool and not get nervous, because then you do some funny little mistake and that costs you the goal you are chasing. I do my job and I do it the best that I can, and really try to focus and keep everything outside my head. It’s just me and my horse going into the ring there, and we want to go clear.
Rodrigo Pessoa BRA
5th on Status
I’m really, really happy with how the horse is performing, its really sad for the team after all the hard work yesterday to bring us back into contention, we were almost there, but we had two really small faults today which took us away from a team medal, which was really annoying but that’s just the way it is.
It was a tough course, really fluid and technical with a short time, which pushes you to made high speed corners and faults, but it was a good round and we are now expecting difficult rounds on Saturday.
[On the spectators] They’ve been unbelievable, they’ve been cheering for everybody. It’s been long days, long hours watching horses doing the same thing but they’ve been great. The atmosphere in the stadium is really boiling.
7th on Flora de Mariposa
It’s wonderful to win at home. [Going into the arena] felt like entering a hot cauldron and I’m not sure we’ll see anything like that any time soon again.
Kevin Staut FRA
12th on Reveur de Hurtebise HDC
I am really, really happy, a fantastic moment to spend with my colleagues. We have had some good days on the first days and some bad ones like yesterday, we were fourth before this final round and then it was completely magic on this journey and was really, really amazing to ride in front of all the French people, our owners, our partners and a lot of people from our families supporting us. I have now words to describe what we are feeling now. Its a Silver medal, but we are so proud of it.
Jeroen Dubbeldam NED
13th on Zenith SFN
The pressure was really on and I think every rider felt it today, we all had little mistakes everywhere and it was good that we were in the lead yesterday because if you are in the lead, and everyone does the same thing, then you stay in the lead!
I had one fault and one time fault and you know you cannot afford any more mistakes, and Maikel came second and had also a mistake and then it gets exciting and you think maybe it’s getting out of hand, but Jur brought us back into the game!
Holland has proven that we are really a strong country, it’s now the second time we are world champions. We were second at the Olympic Games (London 2012) and we won Olympic gold once before with the team, so it shows we are a strong country. We have a really, really great team with some top jockeys with some good horses and super owners behind us, so that gives us a fantastic base to work from.
Maikel van der Vleuten NED
16th on VDL Groep Verdi TN N.O.P
It has been very nice to be part of this team at the World Equestrian Games because I am still young and have never rode in Championships like this before. Today I had a very unlucky fault on the last fence, but the result was still important for the team, so that makes it even better. There was a lot of pressure on us, when you wake up and you know you are in the lead and you know there is a big round coming and you want to finish it, and get it done.
22nd on Showgirl
I was between distances and I had two choices and I made the wrong one [on taking a rail at fence two]. She did exactly what I asked her to do; it was a rider mistake. She tried her heart out, but that’s just the sport. It’s disappointing.
Steve Guerdat SUI
25th on Nino des Buissonnets
I could have thought twice about participating today. When you have an off-day and are way back in the rankings it can get you to questioning things. That said, I still had a chance to sneak into the top 30 so I decided to give it a go.
We’ll wait and see where we are before the final and if it’s possible to move up that would be great. But it’s going to be tough because I’m not sure the best riders will make a lot of mistakes. Maybe the gap in terms of points between me and the best will not be huge, but there could be a lot of riders between me and first place. There is still a lot to play for and we’ll assess the situation after the end of the competition tonight.
Nino was perfect and we couldn’t have asked the horse to jump any better than that, the control was better today than in the first two rounds. The course was big and technical and could create a lot of knockdowns but it remains fair and I think the course designer has been spot on since the beginning of the week.
Kent Farrington USA
27th on Voyeur
We’re a little disappointed actually; thrilled that we have a bronze medal but we were only one rail away from a gold medal, and if things had gone our way, it would’ve been the difference between gold and bronze. So, happy with the bronze, but obviously disapointed that we did not win the thing.
I put lots of pressure on myself, but at a venue like this they have great fans and top level sport; some of the best horses and riders in the world. We must give special thanks to the sponsors, Rolex and everybody for putting on one of the best events in the world, and we are all going to put pressure on ourselves at this kind of event.
Abdelkebir Ouaddar MAR
28th on Quickly de Kreisker
The spectators were fantastic today! I felt all their support and I’m delighted with my clear round – actually I’m astonished! I’ve been in great form for this final. I love this sport, it is magnificent!
Stefanie Bistan AUT
29th on Bogegaardens Apollonia
Two clear rounds in two days, just fantastic! Since yesterday Apollonia is really with me to make things right. She jumped the lines very well. After yesterday’s success everything was relatively similar for us today in terms of pressure and training.
Eric Lamaze CAN
31st on Zigali P S
I thought he jumped very well; I was very pleased with how it finished. The mistake he had yesterday was lack of experience, nothing else. Today, it was an unlucky rub, but otherwise he jumped a good round, it was solid. I just think his lack of experience caught up to him.
[On the Canadian team] We were off to a good start, and the team spirit was great. You have to be perfect every day, and we had a few mistakes, mistakes that you can’t have at a championships. It has to line up for everyone, not just one person. Nothing can go wrong, from the horse side of it or from the rider side of it.
[On Yann Candele withdrawing Showgirl from Saturday’s competition] Due to the mare’s age, between Yann, myself, and Mark [Laskin, chef d’equipe], we made the decision that it was too much to put her through. If they were in the top 10, we would consider sending her, but being in 22nd and having so many riders in front, it is not possible for them to advance to ‘The Final Four’. There are several other riders who have also made the decision not to go on Saturday for this reason.
For Yann, it is the only horse that he has, and we need to preserve her for future team competition. Given her age, there are limitations to how much she can do. Yann was here for the team, he is happy with his result, and he did a great job for us.
Ian Millar CAN
36th on Dixson
We ask these horses to do extraordinary things and Dixson has done very well here. Overall, that’s the way it is and we go on to the next week. I remember back in the day with Big Ben – sometimes you would come to a major event and he just wasn’t his best, and then you would go to the next competition and he’s his normal self and you win. That’s horses. There were no great disasters. It’s just the sport.