Sophie van Norell and Brett Kickert van der Linde: ‘EC is very special’

Brett Kickert van der Linde with Dark Knight Texel

When the older horse lovers among us hear the names Van Norel and Van der Linde, perhaps the light will turn on. Geert Willem van Norell of Pretendenthoeve and Wim van der Linde of Stoeterij van der Linde. But in the future, these names may provoke completely different associations, because young people are coming! Recently at the European Dressage Championships in Hungary, TeamNL was represented by Sophie van Norel and Brett Kickert van der Linde, among others. They received the team’s silver medal. “The European Championship was very special,” says Amazon in the series “Chew’s Dreams”.

CHIO Rotterdam is asking women to introduce themselves. Sophie: “I am 14 years old, I was born in Ebe and I have an older brother Mathijs. I do 3 VWO in Noordgouw in Heerde. I like to meet friends, but I actually don’t have time for that besides school and horses.”

Make regular choices

Mum Bertin adds that she respects Sophie the way she manages her time: “Sophie regularly has to make choices and she does it well. She likes to do everything right and then you have to organize your time efficiently. Fortunately, the school cooperates too. Sophie has a case NOC*NSF, but she attends a regular school.”

try to

Brett Kicker-van der Linde is immediately excited: “I am 12 years old and born in hospital in Den Helder. I live with my family in Stoeterij Van der Linde in Texel and I am in first grade here in Texel. I also only work with horses. I have tried to play Tennis and the gym, but I didn’t like it either.”

Raised voluntarily or dowry?

Van Norell and Van Der Linde. If that’s your name, do you ride a horse voluntarily or have you been raised there? There is laughter from Eby and Texel. Of course only ladies enjoy horse riding. Brett: “I grew up with horses. When I was two or three I sat on a Shetland and so I rode a Pixiu and later a B. But the pony didn’t like me and that wasn’t fun for me either. Then came the B-pony Topas that I rode up to the M class with. I fell in love with Topas instantly and still love him. It took us a year to become a mix, but then I was immediately allowed to go to Hippiade. I won a silver in Class B and gold in L1 and L2 and in March of this year we rode the KNHS Championship The interior is in Ermelo.In the meantime, I also started riding my mother’s Dark Knight Texel.This week exactly one year ago I sat on it for the first time.It started as a joke,my mom thought I couldn’t do it,but it went well.In Two competitions we went through in each class, we went to participate in the balk-line competitions, the first time internationally at Exloo and the rest is known.”

fanatic soon

Sophie continues: “My mother had driven her whole life and took her from her. I also got a Shetlander first, with my brother. I was allowed out once, but quickly became a fanatic. My ponies kept getting better and bigger. I also jumped and even rode crosses.”

Sophie Norell and Etrina. Photo: Arnd Bronkhorst /

special story

Mother Bertina adds: “We thought the fun was very important, but you still depend on the horses you have. And we also have to sell. Etrina, the horse Sophie rode in the European Championships, belongs to a friend of mine, Corinne Bambacht. A very special story. She lives on 120km away from us and you think Etrina would be a thing for Sophie. At Christmas we went to try it out and it clicked right away. When I drove four times we went to Joyce Hewetink and then sent a test online, it was still Corona then. In January, She ran her first race in Tolbert, the rest is also known to Sophie. I say it now in a few sentences, but it was a big task. Sophie mentioned that I was the one from whom I took the horse virus, but in my opinion this is Grandpa changed Willem. She also has the perseverance of it. Unfortunately he died suddenly Two years ago I found him a few weeks ago. So preparing for the European Championship was strange. Riding was the bright spot of the day. But we persevered, this was a choice that the family supported. However, it was a European Championship with a smile and tears.” Sophie gets the final word on the subject: “I wanted to focus on the European Championship and luckily I succeeded. The distraction was nice and my grandmother and grandmother will be proud of me.”

Itrina returns to the owner, the Dark Knight can survive

After the European Championships, a difficult moment came for Sophie, Etrina had to return to its owner as agreed. “Fortunately I have another pony that belongs to us, the Speycksbosch Dickens, who has competed internationally and is also very interesting. But Etrina came too suddenly and now we will see what comes my way.” Britt on her ponies and/or horses: “The Dark Knight is my European Championship horse. He is 14 years old, very smart and loves to work for me. Fortunately he belongs to our family and can stay. Age 15. With that I was recently 2nd in Hippiade in the M1 class. Now I’m starting a Z1 and will do my best to let me ride with it internationally as well. I also have a 15 year old All Star Texel, a C-pony. All Star, I start M2 and I also want to move to Z2. Then it will be sold.”

Tastes like more

What do the ladies think is the most beautiful thing they have experienced so far in their entire lives with their horses? Brett almost exclaimed: “This year’s European Championship! That was so special! Not only because of the medal, but also because of being with the team, he really tasted.” Sophie completely agrees with her teammate, but she would like to add the championship achieved at this year’s Dutch dressage championship in the children’s category.

to dream

Sophie and Brett, two young talents who know exactly what they want. Sophie is modest, but clear: “In any case there is something with horses and riding at a high level. Races like CHIO, European Championships, this sounds very nice to me. ” Mother Bertine: “Unfortunately, my husband’s parents passed away, but the company has already been taken over by sons Martin and Andre, so the company will continue to exist and there are definitely opportunities.” Brett: “My goal was actually to compete in the European Championships, but we actually achieved that and now it’s the Olympics. Of course I would also like to ride the CHIO and continue professionally in horses.” Mother Eva laughs and says, “Brett already knows exactly what she wants. Some time ago she was watching videos on Instagram. Once she saw a horse that she really wanted and asked if we couldn’t buy it. She went to have a look and it turned out to be Glamordale…”

Grandpa Wim

Grandpa Wim loves what Britt does and keeps track of everything via ClipMyHorse. Brett: “He really called when I was still out and hoped that later I could ride his horses just like my mom.” Mother Eva: “I talked about it later, but she rides my horses away. I hope you can ride our KWPN horse Jerenzo Texel Junioren, along with the Dark Knight she will have two good horses for that level.”

LA 2028

In conclusion, Brett says: “About 20 foals are born every year at our Van der Linde stud, which often go to pony auctions where they are best sold. Grandpa is busy, but we have a goal together, the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. When I was driving and he’d call me, he’d always say, ‘You’re on the road, Brett, L.A. 28. And then I’m happy.'”

career aside

Sophie also has nice words for her European Championship horse owner Etrina. “This whole European Championship adventure, to which everyone is now addressing me, would not have been possible without her owner Corinne. She has put her own competition career aside to give me this opportunity. And she is not the only one, there are more owners who are making their horses available to a rider. Appreciating a little more, among other things by naming it more and involving it in the results.I would also like to say that my results in the European Championships have made the people around me more aware of what the word “kids” actually means.In our district, in County Gelderland, there is More interest in it and I love it.”

Source: CHIO

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