by Leonard Liesens
There will be finally three teams coached by Belgians at this championship. Of course, Belgium will be managed by his indefatigable Pierre Arnould. The chef Belgian d'equipe for Netherlands is since a few years dressed in orange (Emile Docquier). And for the first time the viking amazons will be lead by (how to present myself... your writer...) Leonard Liesens.
Arnould said that "we present a reviewed team with for the first time a rider from Flanders". Belgium has changed several horses from the team staffed at Euston Park. The five at Most will be : Karin Boulanger (Anouk de Rendpeine Ewalraid), Pietro Di Geronimo (SD Mengali), Martine Luyckx (Akrevpa Adisha), Celine Maquet (Quick des Sauvlons) and Maritza Pereira (Bidjanne).
On the other (northern) side of the border, the Dutch have to perform well "if we want to keep getting the support of our federation" said Emile Docquier. "A fifth place at the team ranking is almost necessary" he continues. So big pressure on the shoulders of the four amazons and the unique male of the team: Marly van Ditzhuyzen with her stallion Eenhoorn's Dahman, Carmen Romer and the Belgian mare Oceane d'Havenne, Janet Van Wijk on Zaira Star, Marijke Visser with another Belgian horse Wamid and the only man in the team Theo Heldens riding D-Prodigy.
Regarding Norway, that will be the first time that the country enters a full team. The 'new coach effect' ??? "It is for sure anyway that the Norwegian endurance is surfing on the wave and just a bit of luck mixed with a higher rigour and here we are". Our main rider Olaug Carstensen owns five 160 km-qualified horses. One (Opal, Shagya) will be ridden by the junior rider Jeanne Holum. Olaug can still (until definite entries) choose between Yassir II (winner in Germany) or Al Thaka (winner at Ermelo). Ellen Suhr brings the experience thanks to her long career at international level and she will be riding the good but sometimes complicated Shah Nahim (winner in Estonia). Another experienced rider is Tonje Danielson with her horse that completed Florac 2011. And the new one, Mariann Seglem who qualified at Ermelo with Mynt.
So just ladies, and just strong personalities... hopefully they will listen :-)
Regarding France, once again the riders from the Hexagon will be the biggest contenders for the gold. They are : Virginie Atger / Milah de Jalima - Jean Philippe Frances / Qrafik la Majorie - Julien Lafaure / Phaena Cabirat - Melody Theolissat / Azelle de Jalima - Philippe Tomas / Quotien Persky.
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