The TeamNL wins the country competition in Sopot: Riders and horses perform convincingly

The TeamNL show jumpers won the four-star country competition in the Polish city of Sopot. This victory was a great boost for coach Jos Lansink, who missed the important competition in Sankt Gallen due to heavy rainfall two weeks ago. Lansink expressed his happiness with the win, stating, “I am glad that we won. The riders performed well, and the horses jumped beautifully.”

Initially, Lansink had different riders in mind for the Sopot country competition. He wanted to see Leopold and Matthijs van Asten ride, and Willem Greve needed to ride Grandorado for his qualification for Paris. The winning Dutch team at CSIO4* Sopot had a different lineup compared to the team that was supposed to compete in Sankt Gallen. Due to the competition being canceled in Switzerland two weeks ago, Henk Frederiks and Impian D (v. Bubalu VDL) replaced Harrie Smolders and Uricas vd Kattevennen in Sopot. Frederiks’ results were not counted towards the team’s score in Sopot.

Leopold and Matthijs van Asten both put on impressive performances at the competition. Leopold van Asten and VDL Groep Iron caught the eye of the coach with two flawless rounds. Mathijs van Asten also delivered a faultless second round after two time faults in the first round. Both brothers, along with Willem Greve, are on the longlist for the Paris Olympics. They played a crucial role in TeamNL’s victory in the Longines EEF Nations Cup in Kronenberg three weeks ago.

Willem Greve, the Dutch champion, faced a minor setback in the first round in Sopot with a time fault, but he made a strong comeback in the second round. His performance was crucial for meeting the FEI qualification requirements. Lansink praised Greve’s determination and highlighted his luxury position of having two horses on the longlist.

Lansink was pleased with the competition in Sopot, describing it as good sport with well-built courses. He emphasized the short time allowed in the courses, which led to faster mistakes. The pressure was on the Danish team in the final round after Greve’s flawless performance, resulting in a victory for TeamNL.

Looking ahead, Lansink will announce his final team for Paris after the upcoming FEI Longines League of Nations event in Rotterdam. The obstacles will be five centimeters higher, providing a new challenge for the riders and horses.

In conclusion, the TeamNL’s victory in Sopot was a result of strong performances by the riders and horses, showcasing their skill and determination. The competition served as a valuable opportunity for the team to prepare for future events and solidify their positions for the Paris Olympics.