Yesterday evening I was happy because Eurosport broadcasted the Grand Prix at the LA Masters and my luck would improve because Belgian Jos Verlooy was one of the six riders who made it to the jump-off. 18-year old Verlooy kept his cool, rode a clear and fast round with Domino and won the GP. It was really nice to watch and I’m pretty sure this victory must have tasted so good after facing some disappointments at the World Equestrian Games. Verlooy is no stranger for people who follow show jumping. He already showed a lot of talent as a young rider and was the only Belgian rider who rode a double clear round at the European Championships in 2013 in Herning. It was no surprise he made it to the team for the WEG. After Lansink’s horse got injured Verlooy was one of the four riders who would be competing at the Stade d’Ornano in Caen.
When I spoke to Verlooy at the WEG he looked kinda emotional. Normally he’s very cool and calm but now it was like he started to realize how wonderful it was to be at the WEG. Especially the fact that Verlooy has been riding Domino since he was a junior rider gives their story another dimension. “To be here with him, that’s just special“, Verlooy explained. “I made this horse. I’ve been riding him since he was seven years old. It is great that we both climbed up to the highest level together.” Unfortunately it didn’t go as planned when Verlooy fell off his horse during the speed class. The next day he performed better but still his first World Equestrian Games tasted a bit sour. “I know I must be happy to be here because this is my first World Championship but still I wanted to perform better so I can’t be happy with this.” That proves how motivated this talented rider is. He always wants more and yesterday he finally got his revenge by winning the Grand Prix in LA.