National coach Rob Ehrens de Weert has called rider Sanne Thijssen from Sevenum for the decisive round of the Nations Cup. Next Friday is the start of the last weekend in Barcelona.
Ehrens sees opportunities for his team of show jumping riders. The first mission is to finish among the top eight countries on Friday in Barcelona. “If that works, we really have a chance in the final.”
Ehrens nominated four combinations: Willem Greve with Carambole, Harrie Smolders and Monaco, Sanne Thijssen with Con Quidam and Maikel van der Vleuten, already a bronze medalist in Tokyo. Kevin Jochems goes with Turbo Z as a reserve. Established names Greve, Smolders and Van der Vleuten competed at the Tokyo Games last month, where the Netherlands finished fourth in the national final.
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Newcomer Sanne Thijssen impressed Ehrens at the CHIO in Aachen two weeks ago. Then the 22-year-old rider made her debut for the Dutch Nations Cup show jumping team. In the first round, she incurred four penalty points but finished the second round without fail. The show jumping team finished fifth.
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Next Friday, the 14 qualified countries will face each other for the first time in the first round, Sunday is the final. The Nations Cup has been closed for years in the Real Club de Polo arena in Barcelona. Besides the Netherlands, the nine countries of the European Premier League will be in action this year, complemented by teams from the United States, Brazil, Canada and host country Spain. The European country that finishes the lowest will be removed from Division 1.
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