By Claartje van Andel
Photography: Claartje van Andel
Although World Breeding News may be celebrating it’s 300th issue at the end of its 25th year – there’s a horse who was born seven years ahead of the magazine’s launch: The Sydney 2000 Olympic champion De Sjiem (Aram x Wahtamin xx, bred by W.J. Boerkamp), now 32 years young, and still flourishing.
His rider, Jeroen Dubbeldam smiles with great pride as he explains; “Since 1997, De Sjiem has been in the same box in my stable. He spends every day in the field, and doesn’t look like giving up yet.” the day he is in the field and he doesn’t look like giving up yet.”
The 48-year-old rider recalls virtually every step and all the lessons he ever learned throughout his career with De Sjiem. “In Maastricht 1997 I rode in the B-group. I qualified myself for the A-group and then finished fifth in Grand Prix. All the guys were wondering, who on earth is that guy? Then, some weeks later, it was the Samsung Nations Cup qualifier held during the Christmastime Mechelen show in Belgium. Eric Van der Vleuten was forced to cancel, so our Dutch team chef, Hans Horn, was missing his fourth rider. I said to Hans that he could probably use me for the Nations Cup. Hans gave me the opportunity, and De Sjiem and I were the only double clear in de Nations Cup, and fifth in the Mechelen Grand Prix. From that moment on I was always in the Dutch team... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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