The recent announcement of the new Dutch dressage squads for 2018 disclosed that one long-time team rider is surprisingly absent from the list: Hans Peter Minderhoud.
The seasoned competitor is not worried, though, and has announced his come back to the show ring with two new rising Grand Prix stars, Dream Boy and Casper.
Minderhoud missed out on all major championships in 2017 (World Cup Finals, European Championships) because his two top horses Flirt (by Florestan x Gauguin de Lully) and Johnson (by Jazz x Flemmingh) were injured.
The Dutch equestrian federation set new criteria for Dutch squad selection: for senior Grand Prix riders to be submitted into the A-team, they have to score 72% in the Grand Prix at a minimum of 3 shows within a 9 month period. Two of those scores have to be achieved at a CDI. For the B-team they have to score 70% at 3 shows, of which 2 from CDI's.
Johnson did only one international in 2017, the CDIO Rotterdam, where he finished fifth in the Grand Prix with 73.400%. Flirt did his last CDI in Den Bosch in March 2017 and won the Kur. Aboard his third Grand Prix horse Zanardi (by Rubels x Avignon), Hans Peter rode his most recent CDI at Roosendaal Indoor in December. The pair scored 70.780% in the Grand Prix.
In an interview with Horses.nl, Minderhoud expressed his confidence in the future, but added that Flirt will no longer be considered for team selection, even hinting at the horse's retirement from sport. Johnson will be on a light show schedule.
"Johnson is 16 now and he's done so much," Minderhoud told Horses.nl. "Everything he can do now is an extra. Flirt's injury took longer than expected. I have no team aspirations with him. He has done so much for me, more than I could have dreamed of. He's level now and moving again and it has to stay that way. I just want to be sure that he's healthy and fit in his retirement."
Minderhoud has named two horses as his future Grand Prix rides in 2018: the 10-year old Dream Boy (by Vivaldi x Ferro) and the 11-year old Casper (by Westpoint x Goodtimes). In the interview he did not mention Ziësto (by Lancet x Clavecimbel), with whom he made his national GP debut a year ago in January.
"In a few weeks I'll start Dream Boy at Grand Prix for the first time and Casper is going really well too," said Hans Peter. "My ambition continues to be making on the team for the WEG in Tryon."
Source: Horses.nl - Photo © Astrid Appels