Fred Rozendaal: “When everything comes together, it gives that euphoric feeling”

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LF Rozendaal Fred 13

The medals of the Longines FEI European Championships Jumping, Dressage and Para Dressage are divided. The riders, horses and other team members have arrived home safely and can look back on an exciting event. In the near future we speak a number of key players at these European Championships. Some riders and coaches we have already spoken, but this time it is general director of the event who shares his view: Fred Rozendaal.

“I look back at a great event. I am tired but satisfied”, Fred laughs and begins to talk. “We have received a lot of great credits from the equestrian world. Quite a lot of people told me that they had some questions upfront about the concept of the Boulevard, but in the end it worked out well. That is of course very nice to hear because it was an exciting part that we do not know from the CHIO Rotterdam. As an organization, we are very happy to receive such good feedback from all sides. We wanted to create European Championships with a lot of quietness and space for the sport. All in all I look back with great pleasure.”

Para Dressage

New for the organization was a European Championship Para Dressage. “I was very curious how this would turn out, because that is a championship that we have never organized here. But, here too we have heard so many good sounds from the competitors, coaches and teams. They were very impressed by the flexibility of the organization. In addition they liked it to be fully integrated with the three different championships running parallel. The prize-giving ceremony for Para Dressage in the main arena was quite impressive!”

Side events

Prior to and during the Longines FEI European Championships Jumping, Dressage and Para Dressage, a number of side events took place. “We have received a lot of appreciation about how we have organized this activation program. From the very beginning, we have taken the events into the total EC planning, involved different partners and worked hard on it. In the end it workedout well, there are few very nice side events which may be continued after the EC’s.”

“Personally, I found ‘Go out with Elderly People’ a very nice initiative. That is something you could also continue during the CHIO Rotterdam. Almost 200 elderly people participated in the program. The wish was not only giving these elder people a fun day during the European Championships, but also that after the event relationships would arise between the buddies and the elderly. We have heard that this has happened a number of times. Volunteers went to the cinema with the elderly or they had a bite together. This was the intention and luckily it works. Work like a Horse for special schools also was a very successful side-event. This project will run until 2020 and of course I will pick up my focus again on Work Like a Horse in the nextcoming period. So you can see that we leave a beautiful legacy this way from the Longines FEI European Championships.”

Euphoric feeling

“Looking back at the sports, I think the Saturday was very special. The sports was great, the stadium was packed and when you see that, you think: ‘this is why we do it!’ That is what we have worked so hard for together: beautiful sport and filled grandstands. It was all beautifully covered by our host broadcaster NOS with much attention on television as a result. It is wonderful when all these things come together and create that euphoric feeling!” concludes Fred Rozendaal.

photo credits: Liesbeth Foppen

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