Talent plan Zuid-Holland
In 2011 I started a talent plan for talented young riders in this region. The reason for this was that, when I competed at the European Championships for the first time [15 years old], I didn’t know anything myself. I just knew that I had to listen to my trainer very well…..
Knowledge is an important component if you want to compete at top level, definitely if you are competing together with a living creature. After a long and successful international career in top sports with many different horses, I thought it would be useful to share my knowledge with the young talents in this region. Together with the people of the TTC board we created a nice program. We train the talents ten times together with the horses and several times without the horses. We teach the talents about mental coaching, management, psychology and learning system of the horse and we practice falling off a horse because of safety. The dressage trainers are Mathie Boomaars [International Grand Prix judge] , Bob Tenwolde [Grand Prix trainer] and me.
In 2012 we also started with a program for jumping riders. The trainers are Edwin Hoogenraat [Dutch chef d’equipe young riders] and Richard Kapteijn. They train the jumping talents with their horses and they also teach them how to prepare for the competitions, how to build good courses and how to manage the horse well.
During the CHIO Rotterdam our talents get access to the showgrounds and this is always an exciting day for them. The jumping riders explore the jumping classes in the main arena together with a famous jumping rider and watch the competition with the trainers. The dressage riders watch two international classes and Mathie Boomaars gives comments. He tells them all the ins and outs about how to perform well in front of the judges. After this the whole group of talents get access to the press center and a famous equestrian journalist teaches them during an mini press conference how to deal with journalists.
Highlights are the regional and national championships. We work towards these important competitions and the talents get special training. The dressage riders get two clinics in riding their tests better and the jumping riders do a practice competition on another facility. Our sport psychologist Danielle Driessen teaches the talents how to perform well under pressure. I personally developed a method that goes well with her training. This method has been very successful for riders with a lot of nerves.
Our program has been very successful, we already proved that! We deliver several champions and every year we have been successful at the regional and Dutch championships. We also delivered three talents that competed at the European Championships. One of them, Daphne van Peperstraten, became European Champion in 2017 with her horse!
Every year we start recruiting in April and May, and the program runs from May till September. Check the pages at the website of the Rotterdamsche Manège
Promises plan for future talents
Last year we launched a talent program for very young riders between the age of 8 and 12 years, our Promises Team, and recently we decided that these young talents will be part of the TTC Talent team in 2016.
The trainers of the TTC Zuid-Holland program are: Bob Tenwolde, Mathie Boomaars and myself.