‘I was in another dimension’: Netherlands’ superstar claims triple World gold medals

  • Replicating their Tryon triple gold, the Netherlands’ Sanne Voetts and her mega consistent 14-year-old gelding Demantur RS2 N.O.P. spearheaded the grade IV freestyle with 82.49% to complete the triple in the Orifarm Healthcare FEI World Para Dressage Championships results in Herning.

    Another stunningly smooth performance including flying changes every five strides and foot-perfect simple changes catapulted her scores to the top of the leader board.

    “I always try and think of something I want to say, but I’m pretty much speechless today,” said an overcome Sanne after her freestyle performance. “I’m just so proud of him and how he’s put in such a brilliant performance on the final day after such an intense week.

    “I was just there with my horse and the music, enjoying what happened. There’s a few moments in your career when you enter the arena and raise your hand, and from that moment on, you are in another dimension and you don’t really experience what’s going on. And today was one of those days.”

    The pair certainly share a special bond – their performance was rhythmical and smooth with fluid transitions created from a secure contact and frame.

    “When we went to Rio, I’d only been riding him for eight months, so our partnership was really new,” added Sanne. “Now I know him better and he focuses on me. There is so much in the lead up to a big championship where you want to be in control, but then you get here and you have to let go of all the control. That’s the hardest part.”

    Sanne’s plans are to continue to improve with the Paris 2024 Games in mind.

    “I want to be a better rider for my horse, because there is so much more that he can give if I handle it right,” she said. “If I ride him perfectly, I know he can be so much better.”

    The USA’s Kate Shoemaker pulled off a cracker of a test with her stunning eight-year-old mare Quiana, to better their individual fourth and take freestyle silver with a personal best of 80.28%.

    The mare’s expressive paces and fluid movement earned her high marks, their highlights being their rhythmical half-passes.

    “We wanted this 80% and the fact that we got it, I don’t think I quite believe it yet,” said an ecstatic Kate. “I have to give all the credit to my horse and my team, because without them, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to sit up there, and they all worked so hard on my behalf and we did it together.”

    Of their performance, Kate said: “The elements all came together to really highlight her beautiful half passes. This is the first time I’ve put together a championship freestyle with half passes in the trot and the canter, but they just really helped me get the collection and keep her through.”

    Another super performance saw Brazil’s Rodolpho Riskalla’s 19-year-old Don Henrico earn his second bronze medal of the World Para Dressage Championships and finish his career on a high.

    “It’s been a roller coaster week between the preparation and coming here, but he was so good to ride today,” said an emotional Rodolpho. “I’m emotional that is was his last championship test, but also so happy that he gave me so much. It’s been amazing.”

    The pair have enjoyed a hugely successful career with many accolades to celebrate.

    “When he came to me, he was difficult in the beginning, and we have had tough times because he’s very sensitive, but he’s always been there for me and he gives his heart for me. We’ve built an amazing bond.”

    You might also like…

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...