Nico Nyssen in dressage to the European Championship U25 in Budapest: “Next year I will focus on the seniors”

Nico Nyssen is part of the strong Belgian dressage team for the European U25 Championship in Budapest, Hungary, from 24 to 28 August. A dream come true. He had already come close a few times, but then just before his participation he saw the horse being sold.

Nico Nyssen currently works at Glock horse performance in Oosterbeek Netherlands. He grew up among horses and followed in the footsteps of his father, the Belgian Grand Prix rider Luc Nyssen, who runs his own breeding and dressage stable in Klemskerke.

At Glock, where the well-known Dutch dressage riders Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud are based, Nico receives the ideal guidance to lift horses to a higher level. “In addition, I regularly visit my parents in De Haan, where I have several horses. There, too, I try to sit in the saddle regularly with my father.”

Nice track record

Nico Nyssen currently has several horses under his care, including the Grand Prix horse Bon Romantic (by Bordeaux) as a gelding. It is an impressively large horse with three high-quality basic gaits. In addition, there is also the 12-year-old gelding Farrington (by jazz). In 2018, the rider made his international debut in the CDI-U25 in Riesenbeck with Sauvage (by Havidoff) with whom he subsequently took third place in the Belgian championships. The following year he took second place with Esteban M (by Sandro). He then became Belgian champion with Da Vinci (by Vivaldo) and this year in May Nico was second in Lier with Farrington.

In the first weekend of June, Nyssen then had a great performance in CDI Eexlo, which was good for a selection for participation in the European Championship. It was also an observation match for the Dutch team. There Nyssen showed that he can compete at top international level. He eventually came second with a nice score of 75.1% in the Grand Prix U25 Freestyle. In the CDI-U25 in Meerle in his own country, Nico selected his second horse for the European Championship. With Bon Romantic he was also good for a second place.

These great performances ensured that Nyssen was selected as reserve together with Suraya Henrickx (23, Heusden-Zolder), Lauranne Lammens (21, Sint-Truiden), Laura Luyten (23, Hoogstraten) and Aurélie van der Voort (23, Zoersel). for participating in the European U25 Championship in the Hungarian capital. “I have really worked towards this. I knew Farrington had the qualities to get this far. In the past I already had a chance to participate in the European Championships. I achieved a good and nice score with a few horses, but before the European Championships came, those horses were already sold sadly. I now had an agreement in advance with the owner of Farrington to possibly participate in the European Championship with that horse, only to sell it afterwards.”

With ambition

In addition to Farrington, Bon Romantic was also selected as the second horse for the European Championship. Both are KWPN, Royal Warmblood Horse Netherlands. “The fact that they both made it to that selection is of course a special plus, but Farrington is preferred. The animal is also three years older and therefore more experienced,” says Nyssen.

The journey to Budapest becomes quite an undertaking for Nico in his car with Farrington in the trailer. The West Flemish rider is already going to the European Championship with ambitions. “My goal is to definitely participate in the final. I look at it very soberly, because there will be a lot of strong combinations. It is also my last year that I can ride within the U25, after that I will focus completely on the seniors. I already participated in a few competitions in that category. From 2023, my focus will be entirely on that level. Both in the Netherlands and with my father there are several nice horses with whom I am already working towards this level.”

The emotional bond that develops between man and horse after some time is unparalleled. The development of a horse breed often comes from breeding and that remains a passion for Nico. (Alain Creytens)

Nico Nyssen

Age: 25 years.

residence: Rooster.

Profession: rider at Glock horse performance.

Parents: Luc Nyssen and Annick Gillo from dressage stable Nyssen at the Nieuwe Steenweg in De Haan.

youngrider: was in 2019 and also in 2020 part of the Talent Plan of Paardensport Vlaanderen and belonged to the dressage high potentials.

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