Introducing course designer Johan Jacobs

This edition of CAI Beekbergen, the Dutchman Johan Jacobs is the course designer. Jacobs, a level 4 course designer, is a familiar face internationally. For example, he built the Indoor World Cup final several times and recently the international competition Ponydriving Oirschot. He tells us more about his passion for driving and his plans for the competition in Beekbergen.

“My passion for the driving sport started in the the early 90s,” he says. “First as a groom with a number of national and international drivers. I loved my job as a groom on the carriage in the marathon. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the obstacles and finally riding the obstacles with all the challenges involved, which resulted in beautiful sport. I also became very interested in how the cones  courses were set out and how they could be ridden. “

Hobby becomes profession

“Soon I knew that I wanted to be a course designer. After having the right courses and having done good internships, building beautiful challenging obstacles became my passion. And I also really enjoy  building a horse-friendly cones course.” Later on, course designing became his profession. “Who doesn’t dream of making your hobby your profession? ” he says passionately.

About the course

This year he is at Riant in Beekbergen for the course design of the international driving competition. What can he tell us already about his plans for the marathon? “I took the challenge to create a nice course here. We built some new obstacles and made some changes to the route between the obstacles. We did this to make it more beautiful and safer for the horses, competitors and the public.”

Smooth lines

And the cones course? “I try to build my cones courses with smooth, technical but fair lines. This is a task I take very seriously. Too often we see courses where combinations are forced into strange,  technical twists. For me, the cones test is the part of the competition that aims to test the agility and obedience of the horses. It tests the respect of the horse for the obstacle and the driving skills of the competitor . “

Beautiful location with top team

What are your thoughts about your job in Beekbergen? “Beekbergen with Riant equestrian centre has been highly regarded by the drivers for years. The showgrounds always look great and the Riant team pulls out all the stops to create a high-quality event. For everybody involved – volunteers, organization and competitors-, equestrian sport is a passion. We should be happy and grateful that landowners are willing to make a beautiful location like Riant available for the sport.”