Next to studying, our students are also active in many different facets of equestrian sport, from recreational to international level.
One of our third-year students, Meike Paridaans is involved in Combined Driving (Carriage Driving). In this discipline, the driver sits on a vehicle drawn by a single horse, a pair or a team of four. The sport has three phases: dressage, marathon and cones driving, and follows the same framework as the mounted equestrian sport of eventing.
Meike has worked for the Canadian single horse driver Kelly Houtappels for the past three years. Throughout the year they train the horses together both under saddle and in the carriage, and throughout the show season travel to international competitions all across Europe. Together they have qualified for the World Championships which takes place this year from 28th of August till 2nd of September in Kronenberg, The Netherlands. The team have had a fantastic season so far, and with top results at competitions this year in Kronenberg, Saumur (FR), Chablis (FR) and Nebanice (CZ) they are currently ranked third on the FEI Top Driver Award Standings for Single Horses. During the World Championships Meike plays an integral role, grooming on the back of the carriage in the dressage and cones, and is responsible the overall care (and spoiling) of Flip, Kelly’s 10 year-old Oldenberg gelding.
Curious about this discipline and maybe interested in visiting the World Championships? Check out the website for tickets www.worldhorsedriving.com or see Kelly’s website which includes results from the latest competitions www.gendersteyn.com
Kelly about Meike: “Meike started coming on her bike after school to help us out three years ago, and now she’s an accomplished university student and part of our family! So proud of this hard working girl!”