Dutch Rien van der Schaft has been appointed as Finnish dressage team trainer by the Finnish Equestrian Federation. He succeeds Emile Faurie, who resigned from the post in April 2017.
The 65-year old Van der Schaft recently resigned as Dutch dressage team trainer as he felt his job had become superfluous and took on the status of chef d'equipe instead of team trainer. Before his Dutch stint, Van der Schaft was briefly in the running to become the U.S. Dressage Team Trainer, but that spot was allocated to Robert Dover at the time.
As the new Finnish team trainer, Rien will do the majority of his coaching in Central/Western Europe, where most of the Finnish Grand Prix riders are based. He will only occasionally travel to Finland for training.
Van der Schaft´s contract with Finnish Equestrian Federation runs until the 2019 European Dressage Championships in Rotterdam. The next round of negotiations for an extensions till the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will take place later.
According to the Finnish federation, the Finnish Grand Prix riders are very committed and motivated to start their co-operation with Rien van der Schaft. The whole team is traveling to the 2019 CDI)W Amsterdam on Friday 25 January to meet Rien and plan the upcoming spring and summer schedule.
Van der Schaft has trained and competed nine horses up to Grand Prix level. He was member of the Dutch team from 1979 till 1983 and competed at the 1980 Alternate Olympic Games in Goodwood, two European Championships and one World Championship.
Photo © Astrid Appels
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