National team coach Andrew Heffernan looks back with mixed feelings about the Dutch events’ performance in Tokyo. Things went wrong in both Dutch groups in a cross on Saturday, and both Meryl Blume and Janike Bonzader were disqualified after a mis-routed.
Heffernan: “How could this happen? Both teams had their way in the cross, but somehow Meryl Bloom and Janic Ponzader made the wrong decision. This kind of thing happens in the heat of battle. Janneke tells me her horse feels good. After she hits a broken Mim clamp (safety pin) Earlier in the cross, for which she got penalty points, she didn’t have much to lose. This is why she took more risks on an obstacle at the end of the cross. This was given to her by a passer and then she drove the wrong swing, so she was disqualified ‘, says the national coach of Bonzadir, who finished the ride, but only then heard that it didn’t go well.
“Very good explore”
About Bloom’s Journey: “Merrill also got off to a good start, but at the Water Barrier, she missed Element C. She too went the wrong way in the heat of battle. Of course we had explored the intersection too long before as we looked closely at the alternatives. Unfortunately, it happened. A mistake because of wrong decisions you sometimes make as a racer.”
A lesson for the future
“It is a shame that we finish these games with two eliminations. Of course I am disappointed with that. We must now see it as a lesson for the future and take the experience we have gained here with us. We will have to do better in the future. This is very fast, because the next stop for the Dutch event riders is The FEI Nations Cup is in two weeks at Le Pin au Haras in France This is a monitoring competition for the European Championships to be held in Avances (Switzerland) at the end of September. The Janneke and Merel horses are now in very good shape. If they come home well refreshed, I hope that these horses will also be able to participate in the European Championships. They are high quality horses that have proven their ability to handle difficult conditions.”
Don’t depend on luck
Heffernan lives in England, but only holds a Dutch passport and has always driven under the Dutch flag. Also at the London Olympics. He has also participated in several world championships for young racehorses. In 2011 and 2013 he started at the European Championships, and in 2014 he rode the World Equestrian Games in Caen, where the team won a bronze medal. What is his role as a coach? “I am really enjoying the training and I must say I really enjoyed it here too. No matter what the day is,” smiles the national coach. “I really enjoyed working with two completely different characters like Merel and Janneke. You can’t count on luck, but if we had more luck today we would have had different results. I hate it, but we have to learn from it and move on.”
Source: KNHS / Horses.nl
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