Together with Vierspan driver Hans Heus from Lagg-Soren to the World Cup in Italy

LAAG-SOEREN / EERBEEK – Heus will soon go with his team and five horses to the Italian capital where the tournament will take place from September 21-25. The Geldersch Vierspan team from Laag-Soeren will compete with the top 40 drivers from the world.

Four-wheel driver and grand jockey Hans Heuss has been chosen by the national coach of Dutch driving sports Ad Aarts for the prestigious World Four-wheel Drive Championship in Pratone del Vivaro, in the beautiful mountainous surroundings of the Italian capital, Rome.

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The horse virus took possession of her

Hans Heuss, who was raised in Philipp, was active in equestrian sports from an early age. As a young boy, he so acquired the horse virus that it can be found almost daily at the Midden-Heuven Equestrian Center in Rheden. As a groom, he was allowed into the woods with Frans Welling, among others, who owned a pair of horses early on. Later he also went with the legendary Daan Modderman and Gert Kraay of Velp. The virus was implanted so that it would never go away. In the same period, Heus also met his wife, Anne-Marie Ellings, who was also very active in equestrian sports. Together they are also active in many other aspects of equestrian sport in addition to driving.

Driving preference

In the early years, Hans and Annemarie rode in Philip in addition to driving, also on horseback, the so-called under man. The preference for driving remained, and after solo driving, a second horse soon arrived. Tandem riding was chosen, meaning that the horses do not run alongside each other but behind each other in the team. We don’t see that branch of the sport that it often is anymore, but this sparked a love for four-wheel drive. In tandem sports, Hughes was able to win the national tandem riding title in 1994, after participating in various competitions for a year at Durn in Brabant.

After moving to a house on the border of Laag-Surin and Erbeck, where there was space for several stables, I started my first SUV. Riding a four-handed horse in the sport of driving is often seen as the highest category. Not only because of the scenery, but especially because of the difficulty of being able to command and control the four horses.

Competitive sport is a staple of Heus, but a lot of time is also invested in other equestrian related activities. From driving a Saint or Santa Claus to driving an authentic carriage, horse tram or wedding coach. These activities not only provide variety, but also allow competitive sports to continue at such a high level. In their spare time, the couple can always be found with someone or something involved in equestrian sports.

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Together with Vierspan driver Hans Heus from Lagg-Soren to the World Cup in Italy

Competitive Sport Components

Competitions always begin with a veterinary examination. Five horses can be entered for each competition in order to reach the top four horses for each event. After this examination of the five horses (must be all horses ‘competitive fit’ The competition begins with a dressage test. In this part the driver shows that he controls the horses well, has mastered the different parts of the test and can make the horses move as well and evenly as possible.

The next day, the wonderful marathon always takes place. Seven or eight different ranked obstacles must then be removed as quickly as possible, in a predetermined order from Gate A to F. Within the course, the minimum and maximum time are predetermined. At the end of the competition, there is a driving skills course. A path consisting of at least thirty passes consisting of pawns to which a ball is placed. The shooting must pass through all the lanes within the specified time without the balls falling. Points will be distributed to all of these parts so that the final winner can be determined at the end of the third day.

The different parts make the sport very versatile, but also indicate the difficulty of the sport. One day the quad team has to do a nice and proper dressage test and the next day as fast as they can through special obstacles.

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Together with Vierspan driver Hans Heus from Lagg-Soren to the World Cup in Italy

Professional team with the help of friends

Needless to say, this requires an incredible amount of training and skill from both the driver and his horses. In addition to equestrian sports, Anne-Marie Heus-Elings and Hans Heus also work full time. So horses are trained and supervised in their spare time. With the help of several friends, Heus has built a team over time that is not only ready during competitions, but also supports training sessions, looks after the stables, mud, grooms horses, rides, and maintains belts, buggies and trucks. To be able to make an appearance at the start of major (international) competitions, there is a lot involved.

Of course, this excellent sport can no longer do without the support of sponsors and people who care about the team. Fortunately the team has a lot ‘good intention’ It is built in and out of the sport, enabling the team to maintain its connection to the top. The special thing about Heus and his G4 team is that they are actually one of the few non-professional teams in this top driving sport competition, and with their status they are once again able to qualify for the upcoming World Championships.

It will be the third participation in the World Championships for Geldersch Vierspan. After 2008 in Pest and 2016 in Breda, where several Dutch were allowed to start in the Dutch race, now six years later, Italy’s Pratoni del Vivaro’s turn for the fourth FEI Driving World Championship came in handy. The Geldersch Vierspan team can be followed in the coming days via the website, Facebook and Instagram. Together on the way to Rome.


The last world championship was held in Breda in 2016. A match that witnessed a lot of passion and mixed feelings for the team. The day in question in the spring of 2016 was marked by the darkest day in the life of a Soeren driver’s horse. When the neighbor sounded the alarm early Monday morning, the horse stables caught fire. With the help of the fire brigade, Heus was able to get a large portion of the horses out of the stables alive. This nightmare represents the moment of surrender for many. Heus, on the other hand, started working with several friends on a team of competition horses, which the Geldersch Vierspan team is now on its way to Italy. In recent weeks, of course, a lot has been trained and a final match was played in Baburko, Poland, where the “points on i” were put together with national coach Arts.

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Together with Vierspan driver Hans Heus from Lagg-Soren to the World Cup in Italy

Talk to the national coach

Geldersch Vierspan’s World Championship participation was the talk of the town and the choice to bring Heus and his team was discussed in detail.

As the national coach said:

“It is great that Hans is coming to Italy. There is, of course, a kind of split in the top sports. A number of riders participate in this sport full time and a number of them work as well. So it is great to see that Hans and his team are able to keep in touch with the top Equestrian sport.

“Last year, Hans has shown himself in almost all competitions. We see consistent and nice performance, and again and again Hans succeeds in producing a selection of horses that fit certain conditions.”

During the new competition in Poland, Heus was again present during a major competition where the horses’ condition and fitness were once again tested and shown. A good time to put an “i” during these types of matches, in addition to the league’s usual training sessions, in preparation for the Roma game.

Advertisement: “Every year there are at least three courses at the National Sports Center in Ermelo. Unfortunately, more Center courses cannot be offered with the current budget, but that is why these kinds of moments are so valuable. The great thing about Hans is He does not play hide and seek and always continues to evolve in his own way. His calm and consistent approach speaks in his favour. I also wish this top rider all the best in the days ahead.”

Horse lovers sang Bor

Besides the fact that Heus has been coaching and mentoring many people in leadership of the sport for years as a coach, he has been on the Board of Directors of Manege De Spreng in Laag-Soeren for more than 25 years, Board Member of the National Organization of KHNS, President of Transfer Club and Organizer of Transfer Tours different. His wife Anne Marie has also been working and has been in the equestrian sport for over forty years, providing numerous trainings as a certified trainer and providing support to various drivers.

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Together with Vierspan driver Hans Heus from Lagg-Soren to the World Cup in Italy

Royal Windsor Horse Show

The recent death of Queen Elizabeth II marks the end of a special period for many, which Geldersch Vierspan also has fond memories of. For years, Team Heus has been part of the Dutch team at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, an annual horse competition in the gardens of Windsor Castle. As part of that team, Hughes received the third award from the Queen last year. Despite her advancing age, Queen Elizabeth was also present at this special event during her anniversary this year.

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