16 May 2023

Royal Windsor Horse Show: The Netherlands wins Nations Cup

It was an eventful edition of the Royal Windsor Horse Show for the drivers. First of all the single driving horses were welcome again
this year. Eleven single drivers competed in this special competition. In addition, all participants were already needed to be pulled onto the terrain with a tractor during the arrival on Tuesday. In the course of the week, the rain eased somewhat, so that the terrain was passable on Sunday and even the sun clearly showed itself

Rens Egberink wins the pairs

The Netherlands finished first and second in the horse driving pairs with Rens Egberink and Erik Evers. Erik won the dressage and cones, but had to hand over the win to Rens Egberink due to a slightly lesser marathon. “It has been a dream of mine for at least ten years to be able to drive in Windsor,” Rens tells Hoefnet. “As the horses are now ready to compete well internationally, we have decided to make the trip to Windsor. It was quite an organization with paperwork and customs procedures, but it was well worth it. The horses were in top shape and that was reflected in the dressage test. In the beginning they were a little impressed by the atmosphere, but during the test they got better and better. To then drive under 50 penalty points internationally for the first time in such a competition is of course great.”

Rens drove offensively in the marathon. “With my new gray I have a very strong and powerful horse. That came in very handy in the tough marathon of Windsor. The surface was wet and slippery in a few obstacles, but the strength of the horses allowed us to win the marathon.” Rens therefore had the task of holding onto his first place in the cones. “We had discussed well which intermediate times I had to stick to and I saw that I was staying on schedule. Before the slalom I had to correct something, so a ball fell on the last gate. Since I was right on schedule, I took my time from port 19 to 20. It was quite tight and difficult, and I didn’t want to make any mistakes. When you finally cross the finish line, knowing that you have won the competition, it certainly gives you goosebumps!”

Rens Egberink
Photo: Swingletree Photography

The Netherlands wins Nations Cup

The Dutch Four-in-Hand drivers (IJsbrand Chardon, Koos de Ronde and Hans Heus) have won the Nations Cup at the Royal Windsor Horse Show with a big lead. The team, led by national coach Ad Aarts, referred Germany and France to second and third place. IJsbrand Chardon was the highest placed Dutchman, he came second behind winner Boyd Exell. IJsbrand started with a fourth place in the dressage. “It was a pity that my horse Hugo didn’t walk twice, I got negative points for that. I also got one canter in the extension, so then you don’t do well on three parts and you immediately fall behind”, IJsbrand Chardon explains his start.

Thanks to a good marathon, IJsbrand moved up to second place, behind Boyd Exell who won the dressage and marathon. In the cones, Chardon was the only four-in-hand driver to keep the balls on the cones. With only a minimal overrun of the allotted time, Chardon was the winner of the final part of the competition and ultimately second in a strong field. “I have a great feeling from this competition. I really have my horses on track for the European Championships.” Chardon enjoyed the awards ceremony. “Prince Edward did the awards ceremony, who did the honors for Queen Elizabeth. It remains a very nice competition.”

IJsbrand Chardon
Photo: Swingletree Photography

Mario Gandolfo wins the single class

After the dressage, Kelly Houtappels-Bruder (CAN) took first place in the single driving horses with a score of 39.72, followed by Marie Schiltz (LUX) with 43.92 and Mario Gandolfo (SUI) with 45.78 penalty points. Due to a broken rein in obstacle 4, Kelly had to unharness her horse Flip. Everyone was unharmed. Mario Gandolfo won the marathon with the fastest times in obstacles three, four, five and seven. A dropped ball in obstacles two, four and six forced Marie to let Mario go first. Mario was the only one to remain double clear in the cones and thus won the very first international singles competition at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

“My horse Favela behaved superbly. She can build tension quickly in dressage and then gets a little quick, but on the footing in Windsor, which is a bit like my training ground at home, she felt super. In addition, she is super good at a combination of a tough but technical marathon, just like the technical cones with a tight time, as course builder Jeroen Houterman had set out in Windsor.” Normally, Mario doesn’t compete much in the spring. “I have many mares that have their foals and I have about 30 young horses to train under saddle and in the carriage. It is therefore difficult to combine this in the spring with an international competition, but when we are welcome again in Windsor next year I will make time for it again! Windsor is very special and it is cool to see the other disciplines at work. It’s also great that my compatriot Martin Fuchs won the CSI5* on Sunday, although his prize money of £125,000 was on a completely different level than the prize money I won…”

Mario Gandolfo
Photo: Swingletree Photography

Weather conditions

Despite the fact that the weather conditions were not optimal, the organization did everything possible to make the conditions for driving as optimal as possible. “Especially the first two days there was a lot of rain, but the organization, officials and volunteers remained very positive and did everything they could to make the conditions as optimal as possible. Whether it was tractors to tow the trucks onto the field or to take your stuff to the stables, they were always there for you. That was really fantastic. The Royal Windsor Horse Show is really a special event and I think you should experience it at least once,” concludes Rens Egberink.

Nee the results here

Find the photos of the horse inspection here

Find the photos of the dressage here

Find the photos of the marathon here

Find the photos of the cones here

Copyright reserved. Acquisition without acknowledgment and permission from info@hoefnet.nl is not allowed.