Dirk Demeersman aims for Rio


Dirk Demeersman with one of his best horses Cicero Z Van Paemel.

Belgian chef d’équipe Dirk Demeersman is a very ambitious man and yesterday he invited the top 50 Belgian riders of the Longines Ranking to talk about his ideas for 2015. 2015 will be an important year because the Belgian team wants to go to the Olympics in Rio in 2016 and has to qualify at the European Championships at Aken. They’ll have to finish in the top 3 to be qualified for Rio. There are already four European countries who can go to Rio and those are France, The Netherlands, Sweden and Germany.

But Aken is not the only thing on Dirk’s mind. There are also the Nations Cups. At Jumping Mechelen Dirk already said he wanted to change how the teams were made up and how to select which rider. He wants the teams to be based on results of a period of 12 months and he will renew the teams every month. There will also be room for other riders to join and to grow.


Member of the A-team Jos Verlooy with Domino.

Here are the requirements for the A-team:
– 10 best results Nations Cup or Grand Prix at a 4*or 5* level. – At least 4 clear rounds and 6 times a maximum of 4 penalties.
riders: Bruynseels Niels (Pommeau du Heup), Devos Pieter (Dream of India Greenfield), Philippaerts Olivier (Cabrio vd Heffinck), Van Paesschen Constant (Citizenguard Toscan de Sainte Hermelle), Verlooy Jos (Domino), Wathelet Gregory (Conrad de Hus).

and for the B-team:
– 5 best results Nations Cup or Grand Prix at 3*, 4* or 5* level.
– at least 3 clear rounds and 2 times a maximum of 4 penalties.
riders: Daigneux-Lange Fabienne (Venue d’Fees des Hazalles), Devos Pieter (Dylano), Dunon Gilles (Wesselina), Guery Jérôme (Falco van het Roosakker), Lansink Jos (Electra van ’t Roosakker), Patteet Gudrun (Sea Coast Ferly), Philippaerts Nicola (Challenge van de Begijnakker)


Member of the B-team Gudrun Patteet with Sea Coast Ferly.

There will also be other things Dirk will keep an eye on like the condition of the horse/combination, which competitions there are,…. At Mechelen he told us that he would quit riding competitions because he saw this as a fulltime job. Now we can see that he’s serious about that. He will also follow up other riders than those in the A or B team because he wants to allow riders to grow and join those teams. Dirk wants an open dialogue between riders, owners and coach so they can work together and decide which competitions fits which rider best. “I noticed that there were a lot of rider who were unhappy in the past because they were informed very late about which competitions they would ride”, Demeersman said at Mechelen.


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