Now in his thirteenth year coaching the Dutch show jumping team, Rob Ehrens has seen it all and continues to excel in his role.
Under his guidance the Dutch team have gone from strength to strength. The 2012 London Olympics saw them take silver in the team jumping, as well as rider Gerco Schröder second in the individual competition. They then took the 2014 World Equestrian Games by storm, with a team gold medal in the show jumping followed by team rider Jeroen Dubbeldam’s incredible win in the individual competition. They followed it up with another team gold medal at the 2015 European Championships, and Ehrens has been considered the ‘architect of the new gold’ ever since.
His own riding career was exemplary and he competed for the Netherlands at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, after being selected for the 1984 Los Angeles team and missing out because of an injured horse. He has taken part in five European Championships and four World Cup Finals, won the Grand Prix of Calgary and later finished his career riding Celano at Hickstead in 2001.
As a coach, Ehrens is a big proponent of teamwork and is well respected by his riders for being an exceptional trainer and horseman. He is incredibly passionate about all things show jumping and his work to improve the depth and talent in the Dutch show jumping team has clearly paid off, with many combinations constantly appearing in top placings around the globe.
Jur Vrieling: “Rob has taught me how to really peak in the Grand Prix competitions and the Nations Cups.”
Maikal van der Vleuten: “One of the strengths of Rob is that he is always very open and treats everyone equally. He understands the riders well and he lets you work in your own way, but he knows exactly how to motivate you and help you with your weaknesses at the right moment.”
Jeroen Dubbeldam: “From the beginning, Rob gave me trust, which I never violated. So over the years you really build something together.”
Gerco Schröder: “Rob is always looking for the right solution.”