Part II of Jeroen Dubbeldam profile

Dubbeldam with Simon in 2010
Credit : Sportfot

Wednesday 27 February - 17h29 | Yeelen Ravier (translation: Ian Clayton)

Part II of Jeroen Dubbeldam profile

Today, part II of a profile of Olympic, World and European show jumping champion Jeroen Dubbeldam of the Netherlands, originally published in magazine format in January, 2019.

 - Part II of Jeroen Dubbeldam profile

With Patrice Delaveau and Beezie Madden at the 2014 WEG
Credit : Scoopdyga

Part I is here. 

Jeroen Dubbeldam returned to the spotlight in 2009 riding Simon (KWPN, Mr Blue x Polydox), with whom he racked up an impressive number of CSI5* podium results. But the promising performances of the bay were not enough to convince Dutch Chef d’Equipe Rob Ehrens to select the pair for the 2010 WEG in Lexington.“Rob and I have had a super relationship for a long time,” Dubbeldam reflects, “[but] that was the one time I have to say we weren’t on the same wavelength. We even argued… Even though he had his reasons, which I could understand, I was still angry because I knew I was ready and Simon was in good shape.” A decision which the team manager would end up regretting, all the more so when the combination won the CSIO5* Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows in Canada shortly afterwards…

A year later, the gelding was sold to American Beezie Madden ahead ofthe 2012 Olympic Games in London. His departure was followed by that of Utascha SFN (KWPN, Lux Z x Indoctro), acquired at the end of 2013 by Jan Tops for the Armed Forces of Qatar after two years with the Dutch rider. Turning a page, Dubbeldam would pursue his career with the now-famous SFN Zenith (KWPN Rash R x Fuego du Prelet), whom he had discovered in Germany when the horse was seven years old. Delicate and sensitive but incredibly talented when managed properly, the bay would take some time to prove himself but end up being a mainstay of the national team. At the World Equestrian Games in Normandy in 2014, everything came together for the pair when they won the Individual and Team gold medals, with the rider putting on a stunning show of finesse and versatility in the horse rotation final. The following year, the duo did it again at the European Championships in Aachen, achieving another incredible double gold. With this umpteenth laurel, Jeroen Dubbeldam became the second rider in the history of show jumping, after Hans Günter Winkler in the 1950s, to win the three major titles: Olympic, World and European. A class apart. Continued below.

2016 Olympics

2016 Olympics - Part II of Jeroen Dubbeldam profile

With Zenith at the 2016 Rio Olympics
Credit : Scoopdyga

In 2016, the rider was named flagbearer for the Netherlands at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. But in Brazil, SFN Zenith was unable to offer his rider a second Olympic title, just missing out on the jump-off after exceeding the time limit by two-hundredths of a second. In front ofthe assembled journalists a few minutes later, a tearful Dubbeldam could not hide his dismay – all the more so as this was expected to be his last competition with the bay, who was being put up for auction a few weeks later. In the end, though, fate would decree otherwise as Zenith – perhaps judged too delicate to attract a high bid – went unsold. He thus returned to Dubbeldam and will finish his career with the Dutchman. In and out of the top level at different moments, Jeroen Dubbeldam now counts only two other regular mounts, Roelofsen Horse Trucks Eldorado S (KWPN, Diarado x Carolus II) and Roelofsen Horse Trucks Gioia van het Neerenbosch (BWP, Nagano x Skippy II), and recently started coaching young riders. And given his track record, it is a safe bet that he will have success with that as well!

Dubbeldam's thoughts on evolution of his sport

Dubbeldam's thoughts on evolution of his sport - Part II of Jeroen Dubbeldam profile

With soccer player Bastian Schweinsteiger and Formula 1 driver Sir Jackie Stewart
Credit : Scoopdyga

“This is a tricky period for show jumping as everything exploded [grew] at the same time. I’m a bit old-fashioned as I love our sport as it was before and hope it won’t change too much… I understand that show jumping is evolving and more and more people are getting involved, but I hope the quality of the sport will always be the top priority. And I’m not pitting myself against anybody in saying that, neither the Longines Global Champions Tour nor other lucrative circuits. We all need money, and we need those who provide it too, but sport has to remain the top priority – even if that’s easier said than done! Twenty years from now, I hope that there will still be horse people competing at shows, and not just riders who have the means to pay the entry fees. I want the championships to remain the most important thing for everyone, and for a gold medal at the World Championships to mean the same as it does today. And I’m a bit worried by what is happening.”

Major Career Titles and Achievements

Olympic Games (two appearances): Individual gold medallist and 5th in Team in Sydney in 2000 with DE SJIEM, 7th in Individual in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 with SFN ZENITH.

World Equestrian Games (four appearances): 11th in Individual and Team gold medallist in Aachen in 2006 with BMC UP AND DOWN, Individual and Team gold medallist in Caen in 2014 with SFN ZENITH.

European Championships (seven appearances): Team bronze medallist in Hickstead in 1999 with DE SJIEM, Individual bronze medallist in San Patrignano in 2005 with BMC NASSAU, Team gold medallist and 6th in Individual in Mannheim in 2007 with BMC UP AND DOWN, 6th in Individual in Madrid in 2011 with SIMON, Individual and Team gold medallist in Aachen in 2015 with SFN ZENITH. World Cup Finals (three appearances): 13th in Las Vegas in 2000 with DE SJIEM, 3rd in Leipzig in 2011 with SIMON.

Young Riders European Championships (four appearances): Juniors Team bronze medallist in Neunen in 1989 with BLACK DIAMOND, JuniorsTeam bronze medallist in Berlin in 1990 with FARNESSA, Young Riders Individual andTeam gold medallist in Millstreet in 1994 with KILLARNEY.

Further reading...