Together with four-handed driver Hans Heuss from Lag-Surren to the World Championships in Italy

LAAG-SOEREN / EERBEEK – Heus will soon travel with his team and five horses to the Italian capital, where the championships will take place from September 21-25. The Geldersch Four-in-Hand Team from Laag-Soeren will compete with the top 40 drivers from the world.

Hans Heuss, quad rider and senior rider, has been selected by the Dutch motorsports national coach Ad Aarts for the prestigious ATV World Championships in Pratone del Vivaro, in the beautiful mountain surroundings of the Italian capital of Rome.

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He was caught by the horse virus

Hans Heuss, who grew up in Philipp, was active in equestrian sports from an early age. As a young boy he contracted the horse virus, which meant he could be found almost daily at the Midden-Heuven equestrian center in Rheden. As a groom he was allowed to go into the woods with Frans Welling, among others, who had had two pairs of horses from an early age. Later he also joined forces with the legendary Daan Modderman and Gert Kraay from Velp. The virus was implanted so that it would never go away. In the same period, Heuss also met his wife, Anne Marie Ellings, who was also very active in equestrian sports. Together they are active in many other aspects of the equestrian sport in addition to leadership.

Driving preference

In the early years, Hans and Anne-Marie at Philipp also rode horses, called “under the man”. Preference remained for driving and after leading singles a second horse soon arrived. Tandem riding was chosen, which means that the horses do not run alongside each other but behind each other in a team. We don’t see this branch of the sport very often nowadays, but it sparked a passion for four-wheel drive. In tandem sports, Heuss managed to win the national tandem riding title in 1994 in Deurne, Brabant, after a year competing in various competitions.

After moving to a house on the border of Laag-Suren and Ehrbic, where there was space available for several stables, he started his first team of four. Driving four horses is often seen as the highest class of driving sport. Not only because of the scenery, but especially because the four horses are so difficult to steer and control.

Competitive sport is a staple for the Heus, but a lot of time is also invested in other equestrian-related activities. From driving Sinterklaas or Father Christmas, to driving an authentic carriage, horse-drawn tram or wedding carriage. Not only do these activities provide variety, but they also make it possible to continue to compete at such a high level. In their spare time, the couple can always be found with something or someone involved in equestrian sports.

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Together with four-handed driver Hans Heuss from Lag-Surren to the World Championships in Italy

Components of competitive sport

Contests always start with a vet check. Five horses may be entered for each competition in order to reach the top four horses for each event. After this examination of the five horses (the horses must be all “competitive” are) The competition begins with a dressage test. In this part the driver shows that he has good control over the horses, has mastered the different parts of the test and can make the horses move as smoothly and evenly as possible.

The next day, the always cool marathon takes place. Seven or eight different obstacles must then be taken to set up as quickly as possible, in a predetermined order from gates A to F. During the course, a minimum and maximum time is predetermined. At the end of the competition there is a skill course to ride. A course of at least thirty passes consisting of pawns on which a ball is placed. The tension must pass through all the lanes within the time limit without the balls falling. Points are divided for all 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 player has to do a good and proper dressage test and the next he has to pass special obstacles as fast as possible.

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Together with four-handed driver Hans Heuss from Lag-Surren to the World Championships in Italy

Professional team with the help of friends

Needless to say, this required 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 the horses are trained and supervised in their spare time. Over time, with the help of several friends, Heus built up a team that was not only ready during competitions, but also supported training, looked after the stables, cleaned the horses, rode rides, and maintained the carts, carts and trucks. . To be able to appear at the start of major (international) competitions is a lot to look at.

Of course, this excellent sport would not be possible without the support of sponsors and people who have a warm heart for the team. Fortunately, the team has plenty ‘good intention’ Built, both in and out of the sport, the team has managed to maintain its association with the top. The special thing about Heus and his G4 team is that they are in fact one of the few non-professional teams in this top motorsport competition and their status qualifies them once again for the next World Championship.

This will be the third participation in the Geldersch Four-in-Hand Team World Championships. After 2008 at Best and 2016 at Breda, where many Dutch were allowed to start in Dutch competition, it is now Italy’s Brattoni del Vivaro for the FEI Driving World Championship Four in Hand after six years. The Geldersch Vierspan team can be followed in the coming days via the website, Facebook and Instagram. Together on the way to Rome.

nightmare

The last world championship was held in Breda in 2016. A match that saw a lot of emotion and a double team feeling. The day in question in the spring of 2016 has been described as the blackest day in the existence of Sweren’s horse. When the neighbor raised the alarm early Monday, the horse stables were on fire. With the help of the fire brigade, Heus managed to get a large portion of the horses out of the stables alive. This nightmare marks the moment many throw in the towel. Heus, on the other hand, has started working with several friends on a competition horse team, with the Geldersch Four-in-hand now heading to Italy. There has of course been a lot of practice in recent weeks and a final race took place in Baborko, Poland, where the points were placed on the i along with national trainer Ad Aarts.

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Together with four-handed driver Hans Heuss from Lag-Surren to the World Championships in Italy

In conversation with the national coach

The Geldersch Four-in-Hand team’s participation in the World Championships was the talk of the town and the option to take Heus and his team on was also widely discussed.

As the national coach said:

“It’s great that Hans is coming to Italy. There is of course a bit of a divide in the top sports. A number of riders are involved in the sport full time and some are working as well. So it’s great to see that Hans and his team are able to keep up with the pinnacle of equestrian sports.”

“In the past year, Hans has shown himself in almost all competitions. We see excellent, consistent performances, and Hans succeeds again and again in presenting a selection of conditionally suitable horses.

During the new competition in Poland, Heus was again present during a major competition where the horses’ condition and fitness were again tested and shown. It’s a good time to mark i points and cross i during these types of matches, in addition to the usual national training sessions, in preparation for the Roma game.

Ad Arts: “Every year there are at least three training sessions at the National Sports Center in Ermelo. Unfortunately, more central training cannot be provided with the current budget, but that is why these moments are so valuable. The great thing about Hans is that he doesn’t play hide and seek And he always continues to evolve in his own way. His calm and consistent approach speaks in his favour. I also wish this supreme knight all the best in the days ahead.”

Horse lovers purr sang

In addition to the fact that Heus has been coaching and mentoring many people in the sport’s leadership as a coach for over 25 years, he has been a board member of the Manege De Spring in Laag-Soeren for over 25 years, a board member of the National KHNS organization, president of the Transport Club and organizer Various transportation tours. His wife, Anne-Marie, also works and has been active in equestrian sports for more than forty years, offering several training courses as a qualified trainer and providing support to various drivers.

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Together with four-handed driver Hans Heuss from Lag-Surren to the World Championships in Italy

Royal Windsor Horse Show

For many, the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II marks the end of a special period, one in which the Geldersch Four-in-Hand also have warm memories. The Heus has been present for years as 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, Heuss was awarded a third prize last year by the Queen. Despite her advanced age, Queen Elizabeth was also present at the special event this year during her Jubilee.

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