Laurence Vanommeslaghe Ready for the Future with Two New Grand Prix Horses

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 09:01
Belgian Dressage News

French based Belgian Grand Prix rider Laurence Vanommeslaghe represented Belgium at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Caen and 2015 European Championships in Aachen, but for the past two show seasons she has been absent from the international scene. Her top horse has been retired from competition, but Laurence has two new irons in the fire for her Grand Prix career.

The 45-year old Laurence has been living and competing in France since the 1990s, but the Belgian native drew the attention of the Belgian selectors in 2014 when she and her Hanoverian gelding Avec Plaisir (by A Jungle Prince x Hitchcock) started scoring high marks at international events such as Saumur, Kapellen and Perl. The pair was selected on the Belgian team for the 2014 World Equestrian Games, won the 2014 Belgian Championships and was back on the team for the 2015 European Championships. They did their last show together in September 2015 where they scored 71.500% in the Grand Prix and 70.275% in the Special.

The now 18-year old chestnut has been retired from sport. Avec Plaisir scored with his high class, regular piaffe and passage, but the elegant gelding is now enjoying a relaxed life, hacking out and spending time in the field.

"We are just hacking in the nice forest of Rambouillet several times a week and he goes to the pasture in the day," Vanommeslaghe told Eurodressage. "After Perl I have slowed down his activity in the winter and he has spent more and more time in the pasture last spring. He has given me a lot and I think it was time for him to slow down. He deserves it."

The retirement of Avec Plaisir does not mean the end of Laurence's competition career. Vanommeslaghe holds a PhD in political science at the Sorbonne university in Paris, but this has not limited her passion for competitive dressage. She has recently acquired two rising Grand Prix horses which ensure her future in the competition ring.

Vanommeslaghe purchased the 9-year old Belgian warmblood Ibanero van de Vogelzang (by Belissimo M x Weinzauber x Florestan) a year ago. The bay BWP registered gelding was previously trained by Tom Franckx, Dana van Lierop and Anna Lena Holmen. Laurence first competed him in some tour classes at national shows in France in late spring 2016. This winter she has been training intensively with the former Cadre Noir ecuyer Alain François in Saumur. In 2017 they will move up the levels with more campaigning, initially in the medium tour, Intermediaire II and short Grand Prix.

Vanommeslaghe further acquied the 10-year old Hanoverian gelding Havalon (by Hotline x Wolkentanz II) in Germany last week. He was previously owned by Malte-Maximilian Dust and competed in Germany up to M-level under Christoph Dust. Havalon competed in a few riding horse tests and three dressage horse classes up to M-level. His last show was in June 2013.

"Havalon is a very elegant horse with a top temperament and I look forward to working with him," said Laurence. "We have to get used to each other the next months and I shall probably compete him also in the short Grand Prix or Intermédiaire II as a start in national shows next spring. And see how it goes!"

Vanommeslaghe is closing on a new yard on the edge of Paris soon. The planning permission to renovate a protected, 18th century stable building as well as construct a 20 x 60 m indoor school are already in place, but the signing of the deed will be done in spring. "I will be busy with exciting projects this year," Laurence concluded. "I am very happy about the new yard, because I have been looking for a property with all my needs and wishes in the Paris' surroundings for several years."

Photos © Astrid Appels 

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