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Dubbeldam fields 'new kid on the block'

Jeroen Dubbeldam has won numerous accolades in Jumping, including the Sydney Olympics in 2000 with De Sjiem. But Zenith, his mount in Caen, is quite new to this level of jumping — which Dubbeldam sees as an advantage…

Dubbeldam fields 'new kid on the block'
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Are you surprised to be in the final, bearing in mind that you are riding quite an inexperienced horse?

Zenith only started competing at this level in the summer but although he lacks mileage he is super cool and not at all complicated. He’s very fit too, which is an advantage. Maybe being inexperienced means that he will be the fittest today [for the final]. We will see.

Where did you find him?

I saw him at a show three years ago being ridden by the British showjumper David McPherson. I knew Zenith’s Dutch owner and he let me try him for a week. After that Springpaarden Fonds Nederlands bought him for me.

What was he like in the beginning?

He was green and sharp and all over the place but over the years he has settled. There are no particular problems with him and he’s pretty relaxed really.

When did you begin to think that he could be really special?

It was at Falsterbo. That’s when I thought he really had a chance to go all the way.

Are you looking forward to the final showdown?

There will be a lot of jumping but the horses are well schooled and trained and mine is very fit. If you come to the World Games you know what the format is going to be at the end and if you don’t like it you shouldn’t come in the first place!

When did you start riding?

I was about 12. When I was a bit older I worked in a dealing yard and then I went to train with Hans Hoorn. It was he who taught me a different approach.

What did you do last night to relax before today’s build up?

I went out and ate a good French steak and fries!

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