Koos de Ronde Revs Up for Indoor Driving at Olympia
International combined driving champion Koos de Ronde of the Netherlands is competing this week at Olympia, The London International Horse Show. He also competed in last year’s trial Indoor Carriage Driving competition at the same venue. This year the competition is an FEI World Cup qualifier, giving it even more importance. The top six qualifiers will go to the finals in Bordeaux, France, in February. “My horses are very fit for Olympia, thanks to Cavalor products,” said de Ronde, who added that he brought his best team to London.
A Dutch National Champion who ranked third in the World Cup Qualifications standings last season, de Ronde brings extensive expertise to Olympia. This season he won Team Gold in the Nations Cup, as well as placing second at Aachen and sixth in the World Championships. He won Team Gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010. All were outdoor events.
“Indoor driving is completely different,” he explained. Unlike an outdoor event, which takes place over three days and requires horses that are very good movers for the dressage phase, he described indoor driving as “more like a race. . . You do a three-minute course at full speed, so you need fast horses that can turn quickly and have fast acceleration while at the same time being under control.”
De Ronde, who plans to compete in international events in 2013 and end the season with the European Championships in Budapest, said he enjoys both indoor and outdoor driving. He noted that indoor competition has a different atmosphere and excitement, with live music and 8,000 to 9,000 spectators watching in the stands.
The Olympia course will again be built by Dutch course designer Johann Jacobs, who said it will be “smooth but will set challenges. If you set a very difficult course, certainly you get results, but so do you also with a course that is both good to watch and to drive. All drivers who are coming to Olympia are very excited. This is the perfect show for a World Cup Qualifier in Great Britain.” Follow the results of the London International Horse Show : http://www.olympiahorseshow.com/