The latest news from Sterrehof stud
Marc Houtzager: 'A good feeling after all'
Regretfully the European Championship in Gothenburg already ended for us at the second and final round of the team competition. Nevertheless we’re still very proud that Sterrehof Stud has been represented by two of our top horses at this fantastic podium.
We take a look back together with Marc Houtzager, who first of all shows his admiration for the great performances of Harrie Smolders and Don VHP Z: ‘Both of them produced some great jumping; climbing from the ninth spot to second place at the final day is quite something! Harrie rode fantastically!’
Marc and Sterrehof’s Calimero just missed the individual final themselves. Their campaign started with a difficult opening round where they had two rails down in the last double combination. That a championship always brings surprises was also confirmed by the second round of the team competition. Calimero jumped very well but spooked at the wall. Marc: ‘There I had to give him some extra aids but at the same time we lost our distance.’
Till then the Europeans looked like a championship to forget for Marc and the whole Dutch team. The tables turned in the final round. The reigning European team champions finally showed their strength and also Calimero produced a strong and solid round, despite a single error in the triple combination. The Orange squad was able to climb up to sixth spot and Marc could leave the gigantic Ullevi Stadium with a good feeling. He says: ‘The big question was how Calimero would react after that difficult moment at the wall. Especially because he is a very careful horse. But he did a super job and jumped really well. Okay, looking at our results before the Europeans we would have expected more of the end result but we must not forget that he is only ten years of age. Taking that in mind he recovered very well and gave me a good feeling after all.’
Marc’s wife Julia had more like an opposite championship with Sterrehof’s Cayetano Z for Austria. Marc: ‘They were super the first two days but had a difficult final round in the team competition. It was hard for Julia, but that’s regretfully part of our game. Nevertheless it was fantastic that the two of us were selected for the Europeans. A big championship like this remains very special with an unique atmosphere. We’re looking forward to more of this!