The merger of Paard&Koets and Horse Driving Kronenberg with over 12,500 visitors knew a successful first edition. Driving fans from mainly the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium visited the three-day celebration in large numbers. In contrast to previous editions, visitors from further afield were now able to find the event, such as the English, Austrians, Swedes and Danes.
The versatile program in which education and spectacle alternated was widely praised. Multiple (inter-)national top trainers held several sport clinics and demonstrations. Crowded were the clinics of the German coach Karl Heinz Geiger, driving instructor Leonne van Gestel and the Belgian four-in-hand driver Jan Vanden Berghe. On Saturday evening, Cindy Timmer won the Mennifique Wisseltrophy. This trophy places volunteers from the driving sport in the spotlight.
Due to the beautiful weather and combination with Paard&Koets, International Driving Kronenberg had more visitors than ever before. It was very crowded at the skill track and marathon obstacles where single, pair and four-in-hand combinations entered into battle. Saskia Siebers won the singles, the winner at the pair was Michael Sellier and Bram Chardon underlined his reputation by winning the four-in-hand. Francisca den Elzen became first amongst the para equestrian.
For the first time, the Dutch Championships for farriers took place during Paard&Koets. On Friday, twenty-two first, second and third year students were allowed to show their craftsmanship. In the sweltering heat, they forged a sound horseshoe from a piece of iron. On Saturday and Sunday the professionals started their battle. Reigning Dutch Champion Gertjan Salm, successfully defended his title and, together with the numbers two up to and including four, will compete for the European Championships in Switzerland later this year.
On Saturday morning, youth drivers competed in a mini-marathon. Lotte Zaaijer (singles up to age 12), Larissa Reints (singles from 14 to 16 years) and Eline Mentink (pair) won. On Sunday morning eight studbooks competed against each other in the ‘Battle of Breeds’. Fastest was Elien Verhaaf with her small and extremely brave span of miniature horses.
The 37th edition of Paard & Koets is on 20, 21 and 22 April 2019 at Equestrian Center de Peelbergen, again in combination with Horse Driving Kronenberg.