CAI3* Kronenberg

Posted: 24-04-2018

Team Verheijen starts the outdoor season 2018 with a spectacular competition at Kronenberg that takes place under wonderful weather circumstances. Horse Driving Kronenberg International is located at the stunning grandorse fields. Many driving sport fans travel to the southern Netherlands to enjoy exciting driving sport at the highest level combined with the ‘Horse & Carriage’ fair.

After a positive veterinary check of his horses on Thursday morning, Tristan harnesses them to the carriage for the dressage test. During the warming-up he feels one of his horses being quite tensed. Unfortunately this tension also affects the finishing-touch of their dressage test. Being not completely satisfied with their performance, Tristan considers the 11th place as not such a bad starting point after all.

At the cones trail on Saturday Tristan’s horses are edgy. Many competitors struggle to complete the course within the allocated time. Team Verheijen smoothly and rapidly negotiates the 20 gates, finishing ample within the time allowed. Two balls are accidentally dislodged though, causing penalty points. Their performance results in a 6th position, moving Team Verheijen to the 9th place in the combined results after dressage and cones.      

A large number of spectators flock to the site for the marathon at Sunday afternoon. Seven diverse obstacles are presented, including an indoor obstacle and two water obstacles. Around 3 pm Tristan drives into the challenging first obstacle, encouraged by a huge group of fans. For the first time, Carlo Vermeulen - an experienced horse pair driver himself - stands at the back of Team Verheijen’s carriage. The horses are keen to negotiate the marathon obstacles but Tristan stays calm. As a result, the horses arrive very energetic at the last obstacle 7, a massive water bowl, and even manage to set the second best time there. Given the international competitive participants, the team is very satisfied with their third place in the marathon. Due to this good result, Tristan climbs another two positions in the overall results - to the 7th place.

So the season has started. With grooms Mariska Berntsen for dressage and cones, and Carlo Vermeulen for marathon, Tristan can rely on a strong team for the upcoming competitions, until Jitske is back to retake her role as groom at the back of the carriage. In the upcoming weeks the team will practice for their next competition at Rijssen, on the 11th and 12th of May.