Looking ahead with Rob Ehrens, Jeroen Dubbeldam and Louis Konickx

The Dutch Masters will be the first international 5* event for the jumping riders since a long time. The riders are happy, it is much needed in view of their preparations for, among others, the Olympic Games. The Dutch Masters is the occasion to see where the jumping riders and their horses stand after a long period without top events such as the majors of the Rolex Grand Sla of Show Jumping. We asked national coach Rob Ehrens, top rider Jeroen Dubbeldam and course designer Louis Konickx.

“The TeamNL riders seem to be in good shape,” according to Rob Ehrens. “They had quite a few events so they had the opportunity to get into the rhythm. However, the preparations for The Dutch Masters will be rather difficult because it has been a long time that they jumped at 5* level. The riders are really looking forward to the event.”

Jeroen Dubbeldam, who was ready to go in the Brabanthallen last year with his new top horse Oak Grove’s Carlyle, is happy he now has the opportunity to jump again in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. “I am really happy to jump at this level again this year. We, the riders, and our horses have sufficient experience and you have to be prepared for 3* events as well, but I am looking forward to jump at 5* level. Especially the Rolex Grand Prix, the highlight of the event. We have to be ready and offer the viewers great sport.”

International course designer Louis Konickx awaits an important job. “It will be challenge. I have to find the right balance. I have to see how the horses jump on the first day. From there I will built up my designs. After all, the horses haven’t been to ‘school’ for a long period. The courses must not be too easy, but not too difficult either. The course of the Rolex Grand Prix must be sufficiently challenging in order to have the best combination take the victory. We especially want to offer the viewer great sport.”

The first jumping class, a two phases special 1m40, will start on Friday 12 March at 2 pm.
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