How do you look back on part I of 2023 Gilles?
Gilles: Not entirely too pleased. I have been a bit unlucky over the past months that my top horses Calleryama (Casall x Contender) and Luna van het Dennehof (Prince vd Wolfsakker x Quidam de Revel) were both injured. Due to my relatively high position in the world rankings after my strong year last year, I got to ride in some nice competitions, but with two top horses that were not fit, it was not so obvious. On the other hand, the younger horses such as Puskas de Kalvarie (Don't Touch Tiji Hero x For Pleasure) and Elfra van Beek Z (El Salvador x Vagabond de la Pomme) were given nice opportunities to gain experience. Meanwhile, Luna is back in work and with Calleryama I can start again within a few weeks. So I can look forward to Part II with more hope. (smile)
And Ermitage Kalone (Catoli x Kannan) has also done his work as a breeding stallion in the meantime ... another asset?
Gilles: Indeed after the Sunshine Tour Ermitage was allowed to concentrate on breeding, this month we resume the sport.. Ermitage kalone will indeed be an asset in the coming months. It is unbelievable how many mares he has covered. Even now, there are twenty to thirty customers for Ermitage's semen every day. I could not say to approximate to fifty, even to a hundred mares how many mares he has covered. He also makes the click between covering and sport perfectly. He stays very calm when covering, at two minutes it is job done and he does not waste any unnecessary energy. He is all set to start the competition season full of energy.
Which matches are you looking forward to in the coming weeks/months Gilles?
Gilles: From 14 to 16 July, I get to go to the Global Champions Tour in La Coruña (Spain). Elfra and Feromas van Beek Z (Fantomas de Muze x Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve) are going with me. The Stephex Masters in august Brussels are an important goal. I am also looking forward to the Belgian Championships in Lanaken. They didn't go so well for me last year. I would like to make up for that this year ...
2024 is an Olympic year ... how do you look at that?
Gilles: 2024 is still a long way off, and ultimately not that far away. We'll see what comes and how it goes. With horses, you never know but if I would get a chance, I would obviously want to grab it with both my hands. We'll see ... The important thing now is to perform well and keep working hard.
Best of luck Gilles! We keep on following you.