Almost everyone in the horse world knows her name, from Steenbergen to Tokyo. From riding in youth teams to organizing the Olympic Games, she stands her ground everywhere. She loves Glock’s Johnson but also enjoys Con Quidam. Dressage gives her goosebumps, but she can watch jumping for hours. She is always working, organizing and trying to make it as perfect as possible for riders and relationships. Time to let her speak for herself. This time the organization of CHIO Rotterdam speaks with Annemiek van der Vorm.
Annemiek van der Vorm (41) was born and raised in Dinteloord. Today she lives in Steenbergen. She started riding horses when she was nine years old and has never stopped. Her father had given birth to a foal from a relationship as a thank you for helping. Of course Annemiek couldn’t ride it and so a young pony was bought with which she rode up to and including M class dressage. After that, a pony and a horse arrived and Annemiek rode horses from her parents’ company, the Margaretha Hoeve, the Bollvorm which may be familiar to the elderly among us. Her hobbies are running and golf and she currently has a home bred four year old mare by Toto jr. who has just been saddle broken.
Via NK to CHIO Rotterdam
“In addition to my four-year-old horse, I teach in the region, I do board work and I have a few clients who use my services. The NK dressage, CDI Lier, I have committed myself to several CDI’s in the Netherlands such as CDI Exloo, CDI Peelbergen and the CHIO Rotterdam, not the least. I have been with CHIO since 2011. In 2009 I joined the Dutch Dressage Championships in De Steeg through Nataly van Eykel of EQ International. One thing led to another and through the late Gerda Verhaar Eeuwijk and Tineke Bartels I ended up in Rotterdam”, says Van der Vorm.
“At CHIO, I am responsible for sports alongside Joyce Lebon, and since last year I have also been involved in the commercial field. The companies from the port and the city and their relations were already well represented in the Kralingse Bos, I wanted more companies and people from the horse world on the site. I am now committed to that, I call people and companies to show how beautiful the CHIO is and to see if we can do something. At our competition you can network better than anywhere else. This year even better than previous years. Immediately after the ticket check, there are already stands and these are beautifully arranged around the champagne bar. We also have all kinds of exposure options in and around the ring and via the livestream. The CHIO is the largest 5* event in the Netherlands and everyone wants to ride with us. As a company you simply have to be there! Here comes the horse girl again…. The feeling, the emotion in equestrian sport, for example a cycling race can’t compete with that?! And if TeamNL also wins like last year, it couldn’t get any better. If you enjoy a delicious snack and drink with friends or relations and Emmelie Scholtens or Willem Greve, to name just two names, drive in the ring where you are directly seated, isn’t that great?!”
Piece of nostalgia
“When I think of the CHIO, I think of the fantastic forest, but also of a bit of nostalgia. We used to go to Rotterdam with dressage and jumping horses, I rode there myself and the joke is that our great-uncle Willem van der Vorm did a lot for the preservation of the Rotterdamsche Manège. I also rode at the CHIO in my youth. The parties in the Stroodorp, the great sport, yes, I love Rotterdam, I am actually a Brabant with a Rotterdam edge.”
Seven European medals
“My best memories of CHIO are with Michelle van Lanen and my stallion Incredible. They rode with the young riders and won the then youth trophy. Incredible, the horse with which I myself had won seven European medals in my youth. Another very special memory is that in one year, I think 2016, we had such bad weather that everything had to be shut down and that a tree had to be cut down before we could continue with the program. Of course, the European Championships for jumping, dressage and para dressage in 2019 were also a highlight, partly because, among other things, that European Championship gave me the assignment for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.”
“The European Championship was in August and in July I had an email in my spam box about Tokyo. I did not know what I saw. They wanted me to be at a test event two weeks later, but of course that didn’t happen. Fortunately it turned out well, I was responsible for everything related to dressage and paradressage. Leading chef d’equipe meetings, guiding officials, contacting the TV to everything FEI and corona proof around the ring. I even designed the gates in the dressage ring. In total I spent two years in Tokyo. It was spicy and it was magical, I like that. I like challenges and working in a team. I don’t know if it’s always good for my health in terms of stress, but it’s really cool. And good for the sport.”
Johnson and Con Quidam
“You might expect that dressage is my favorite discipline, but I also have a big jumping heart. I can’t watch 40 dressage combinations, but the dressage Saturday evening at the CHIO gives me goosebumps. But I can sit through the Nations Cup and the Grand Prix with full excitement. Especially in Rotterdam. In jumping I like to watch Harrie Smolders, Maikel van der Vleuten, Willem Greve and Daniel Deußer and in dressage I like Emmelie Scholtens, Hans Peter Minderhoud and Charlotte Fry. When I think of horses, Hans Peter’s Johnson was my favorite, partly because I rode him myself. After last year I am a big fan of Sanne Thijssen’s Con Quidam when jumping. She won the Grand Prix last year, as a very young competitor riding the CHIO for the first time. That was great, we cheered and danced on the Grand Stand.”
“I have already seen and organized a lot, but I would really like to organize an international youth competition with both jumping and dressage. Back in the day there were always combined competitions and I loved that. The dressage riders knew the show jumping riders just as well as their colleagues in their own discipline and that is no more. The atmosphere, being with each other, learning from each other by watching the other branch of sport, encouraging each other, what an atmosphere that was.”
Beautiful and important
“Finally, I would like to ask everyone to be a little more positive. Be nicer to each other, that makes it all so much easier. And against the people in the sport, enjoy our sport. The sport is so incredibly beautiful and important, especially in a time like this. Now look at Feyenoord, Rotterdam football pride, it’s so cool how well they’ve done this year, that gives such a positive vibe. For the Netherlands, for sport, for the city of Rotterdam. Sports make you happy. On all levels. This morning I sat on my four-year-old mare for the second time, my day couldn’t get any better…“