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Happy teams and organisers after the Henders and Hazel Nations Cup

Belgium and France

After the Nations Cup, Henk Nooren was extremely proud of his team. Of course he also wanted to talk about the unbeatable Julien Epaillard: “He is a true winner and completely ready to join us at the highest level, even at the Olympic Games in Paris.” The world’s fastest rider added: “Before the Nations Cup started, Henk told me that there would probably be a jump-off and he asked me to prepare myself. So that is exactly what I did. It was a very special day for me.”

Kevin Staut really enjoyed the competition at Knokke Hippique: “I have been riding Nations Cups all over the world for so many years now. It is a great concept which really comes into its own here at Knokke Hippique. I am so happy that we were able to participate and win at this event.”

After many great performances in the Nations Cups over the past few months, home team Belgium just barely failed to take the win. But the Belgian riders certainly put on a show. Niels Bruynseels and Delux Van T & L did not make a single mistake. Jos Verlooy and Igor also remained clear up until they had one rail down in the jump-off. “It had been a while since we participated in a jump-off and I had not expected to do so today. But I was 100% motivated to win. I took a lot of risks but unfortunately it did not pay off in the end. We really missed the Nations Cup in Belgium. I noticed that today more than ever. I am really grateful I got the chance to compete in a Nations Cup in front of my home crowd.”  

A Nations Cup event where it belongs

It was also a wonderful moment for organiser Stephan Conter who, together with his Stephex team, and with the support of the Belgian Equestrian Federation, has been working for years to bring the prestigious Nations Cup back to Belgium. “The Nations Cup is a unique concept that adds so many extra dimensions to our sport: team spirit, national pride, togetherness. An event of this quality was simply not to be missed in a horse country like Belgium. It was almost impossible to bring it back to our country. But by finding the right sponsor who shared our passion, we succeeded. I cannot stress enough how grateful we are to Henders and Hazel for helping us give this wonderful experience back to the Belgian horse fans.”

Paul Van Den Bosch (Henders and Hazel) made the choice to sponsor the Nations Cup with great conviction. “As far as I am concerned, this partnership may continue for a long time. We want to support the beautiful equestrian sport because we simply love it. But it also benefits Henders and Hazel. I would definitely advise other companies to do the same.”

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