Being the son of a horse-dealer, horses have always been part of Tristan’s life. He has been passionate about working with them ever since he was born.
Tristan was only eight years old, in 2000, when he started driving a carriage. His first little horse was a Shetlander stallion named Falcon. After a few years Tristan exchanged his loyal Shetlander for a pair of Section A Welsh ponies that enabled him to compete in pair driving. In 2008 Tristan participated in his first official level 1 competition. By then he’d got the taste and found his true passion. Tristan has since long moved on to larger horses and has been very successful both on national and international level. He has won many prices but still has a high degree of healthy ambition that keeps him motivated to improve; his ultimate dream is to become a World Champion.
Jitske van Rijn
Jitske van Rijn is not only Tristan’s partner and his mate in life, but also his strong support in many ways. Jitske sees to it that all horses are perfectly groomed, and takes care of the organisation and facilities during the competitions. Moreover, Jitske is Tristan’s groom and navigator. Especially during the challenging marathon stage Jitske is a vital part of the team, balancing the vehicle on tight turns and uneven ground by shifting her weight. In addition to her job, Jitske also trains the horses under saddle and is especially skilled in showjumping.
Jitske van Rijn
Roel van Hoef
Roel lives nearby Tristan and Jitske and gained experience as a groom by supporting the well-known carriage driver Riny Rutjens. Given his experiences and skills, Team Verheijen highly appreciates his help during the competitions. Roel is currently studying to become a horseshoer. As a consequence he cannot join the team in as many competitions as he would have liked.
Roel van Hoef
Hans en Elian
Hans and Elian are Tristan’s parents and the team’s biggest fans. Attending as many competitions as possible, they support their son and his team whenever they can. Hans’ profession as a horse-dealer triggered his son’s interest in horses and allowed Tristan to grow up among horses. Hans and Elian are very proud of their son’s career and stand behind him and his sport a 100 percent.
Daphne Kuijpers is frequently riding Team Verheijen's horses.
By riding them under saddle, the (young) horses enjoy a varied training.
Hans en Claudia Verheijen
Claudia is Jitske’s niece. Together with her husband Hans, Claudia can often be found at the stables of Team Verheijen. Claudia frequently rides a horse under saddle. Hans helps and supports Jitske with showjumping. Further, Hans and Claudia are often present at the driving competitions.
Rublus also called Ruby is Tristan's big friend and accomponies him on the carriage during training sessions. Rublus also plays a vital role at the competitions: he guards Team Tristan Verheijen's horse truck and keeps burglars away. While exploring the obstacles he usually accompanies Tristan and then he is a very friendly and kind dog.