CHIO Rotterdam | Countdown to CHIO 2022 with Maikel van der Vleuten

When we call him we hear the sound of horses’ hooves in the background, better than the radio, it couldn’t be more apt. Michael: “I’m fine, I’m comfortable with the rhythm of competition again. I currently have two heavy work horses, Beauville Z and Elwikke and am busy training new horses and this is going well. One of these new horses will probably come to Rotterdam as a second horse. Yes , I’m already coming to Rotterdam. This weekend Bofill will run the World Champions Tour in Cannes in preparation for the Rotterdam match and after that he will start at CHIO.”

Olympic Bronze

Despite Corona, 2021 was a successful year for this Brabant headdress. He also won individual bronze at the Tokyo Olympics. We wonder, does such an individual medal look any different than the team variant? Michael: “Yeah, yeah. That’s what you’ve always been looking for. In the past, only four Dutch equestrian athletes have achieved this before and then all of a sudden it belongs on that list. Rotterdam also contributed to this medal, and CHIO was my last serious preparation. Considered a medal The team is also special, but then you both do it together. If you make a mistake, a colleague can make up for it. The atmosphere in the team’s performance certainly plays a role as well. Individually you have to do everything alone, every mistake counts.

In Rotterdam you want to win

I have to show you that the Beauville Z and I are in great shape. I would like to go to the World Cup in Herning, which is five weeks after CHIO. In those 5 weeks I don’t want to do anything big, just keep the Beauville Z and I as healthy and fit as possible. Last year we won the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup in Rotterdam and we will definitely come back to it again. Good form is present in several formations, and national coach Guus Lansink is sure to bring the best team in at the start. You want to win in Rotterdam, that’s in our nature. In fact, this game on our land feels like a kind of tournament for us. Moreover, a win or at least a good performance gives confidence and this is another good motivation for the World Cup.

I also think we as show leaders are in great shape for Herning. We always have good riders, but at the moment we also have a lot of good horses. Of course we must make sure the horses are healthy and in good shape, but feel good. It’s easy to make a mistake and it can make a big difference, but if it stays the same then good results are certainly not left out.

special atmosphere

When I think of Rotterdam, I think of the beautiful location. Driving in the jungle like this is impossible anywhere else. I love going to Kralingse Bos myself, but I also love it for my horses. I say it every time, but now again, I always think of Pannenkoekenhuis De Big and will definitely eat again this year, which is standard. The fact that we start with the team is also a special fact, it gives a special atmosphere.”

Dana Blue

Something very different. This weekend we received the sad news that the great gray mare, Dana Blue, will not be returning to the sport after being injured. Michael: “It’s true, but she is doing well. She can no longer engage in sports, but a beautiful life awaits her like a brood. It belongs to us and to our patron Marta Ortega and will stay with us. Last year we expelled 2 fetuses from her and now we have two foals from her by Verdi and a stallion. Small, horizontal.My ex-groom Lianne Kuijpers is fit again and we jump with her again more than a meter, but the right front knee does not bend more than 45 degrees and this does not improve, there is more and more osteoarthritis. The injury that I had surgery has recovered Exactly, but the other front leg is the problem now, probably because of her standing still.

Private photos by Maikel van der Vleuten

Friday afternoon party

Concluding on a happy note, I would like to say that I am looking forward to returning to CHIO and that I will do my best to make it a party again and to make everyone look as happy as last year. Then I will be completely satisfied. ”

The most beautiful words of Michael and what positive sounds from the front jump. You are a favorite of our volunteers Michael, and as you look forward to coming to us again, our people are eager to welcome you and your horses again and see you in action. Just another three weeks and then it’s time already. Good luck in Cannes next weekend and then we look forward to seeing you in Rotterdam.

Image credits: Nils Bowser/Daniel Fink

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