Pony riding at the riding school went from once a week, to twice, then three times, then four times. Finally it was time for a pony of my own: Sonja. “That wasn’t easy,” says Thierry, “it took me five competitions until I had 1 profit point in dressage, so I was allowed to start jumping! And then she kept stopping! With my next pony, Monte Carlo, things went better. But my father wouldn’t let me go cross-country until I was first Z dressage and Z show jumping. In the end, we became Z2 dressage and ZZ show jumping,” says Thierry.
In 2015, Thierry was selected for both dressage and eventing at the selection day for the KNHS talent plan. He chose eventing, a discipline that suited his pony stallion Zapp very well. “I was able to finish my pony career nicely with a second place with Zapp at the DC in Barchem in 2016,” says Thierry.
Then, via Martin Lips, the horse Piet came into the picture for Thierry and things moved quickly: in 2017, Thierry rode ACSI Piet into the junior team for the European Championships in Millstreet, as he did in 2018 in Fontainebleau. This was followed by the third EC in Segersjö in 2021 with Classic Royetta from German rider Gesa Staas. Thierry was in the cadre until 2021.
Meanwhile, Thierry also had ACSI Harry Belafonte at his disposal with whom he rode eight 4* competitions. Among them 2 times Boekelo culminating in bronze at the DC in 2021. 2022 was also a wonderful year with a.o. participation in Luhmühlen and Haras le Pins. By now, 20-year-old Harry is enjoying his retirement with his breeders the Backhaus family in Germany.
Thierry completed the Stedelijk Gymnasium in Nijmegen in 2018 and then got his bachelor in Business Administration/Economics and completed his studies with a Master in Strategic Management in 2022 at Radboud University in Nijmegen.
Sometime later, he left for England for five-time Olympian William Fox-Pitt. Read more about the start at Sturminster-Newton in Dorset here.