Hans Peter Minderhoud, Dutch dressage rider

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Dutch grand prix dressage rider Hans Peter Minderhoud – born on 7 October 1973 – comes from an unhorsey family of jewellers.

He first came into contact with horses at the age of six at a local stables in Westkapelle, Holland where he spent much of his spare time as a child.

From the age of 16 Hans Peter worked with Olympian Anky van Grunsven during his school holidays in Erp, southern Holland.

He accompanied Anky to the 1994 World Equestrian Games in The Hague as competition groom and when she won a gold medal with Bonfire, Hans Peter was inspired to pursue a career in the equestrian world.

After gaining considerable experience working for various yards – including Bollvorm, Van de Broek and at Gertjan van Olst’s stud farm – Hans Peter decided to set up on his own in 2003.

Together with his partner Edward Gal – who he met at a stallion testing station – Hans Peter has now built up a yard of about 50 horses including six at grand prix level.

His first grand prix horse was Carl Hester’s Escapado who came to him just after the European Championships in 2005.

Escapado has now returned to Carl’s yard in Gloucestershire to live out his retirement.

In 2007 Antony Kies – CEO of equestrian sponsor Exquis – bought Nadine for Hans Peter to ride. The mare was competing small tour when she came to Hans Peter but would prove to be hugely influential in his grand prix career.

Nadine is now retired from competition but remains at the MinderGal base where she is likely to be put into foal or have embryo transfer.

Hans Peter has been hailed one of Holland’s best riders and producers of young horses having won the world championships for young horses in Verden twice with Rubels.

Other career highlights include making the Dutch grand prix team in 2007 with Nadine and winning team gold for Holland at the 2007 European Championships in Turin, Italy.

Hans Peter hopes to represent the Netherlands at London 2012 and is on the long list for both the provisional A and B teams. His grand prix rides include Vivaldi, Whitney van ‘t Genthof and Donna Silver.

In this week’s dressage special (22 March 2012), read an exclusive interview with Hans Peter Minderhoud and Edward Gal, get advice on giving freestyle to music a go and find out who the upcoming stars of the dressage world are.

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