CDI Lier 2024: The new date is set!

With captain of Belgium Dressage Events Wim Verwimp, we look back at a very successful week. Wim: “I think everything went really well this week. At the beautiful location of Azelhof we have everything to organize a competition for the Belgian dressage sport at the highest level. I think we’ve succeeded with that again this year.”

Positive respons

“The positive response of the riders during the week was quite overwhelming, but so much fun to hear. They are all happy with the organization, the stables -this is the second year we have permanent stables-, the footings, the prizes, everything. It gives us as an organization a lot of energy to keep on going with this event and to think about how we can do it even better.”

CDI Lier 2024

The date for next year has already been set: from February 27th till March 3rd CDI Lier 2024 will take place again at Azelhof!

Therese Nilshagen wins CDI 4* Grand Prix Special: “Dante Weltino is my dreamhorse”

They did it again today, after winning the CDI 4* Grand Prix on Saturday, the Swedish Therese Nilshagen and Dante Weltino old. (by Danone 4) also took the win in the Grand Prix Special on Sunday, with 77.660%. They were closely followed by -also from Sweden- Juliette Ramel and her Buriel K.H. (by Osmium) with a score of 76.298%. The top three was completed by German Dorothee Schneider and Sisters Act MT old. (by Sandro Hit), with 73.468%.

We spoke with Therese after her winning ride: “Today I was really satisfied with our ride. This was our first competition this year, so you never know what you can expect. Sometimes the circumstances at indoor competitions are a bit more difficult than outside, but Dante felt really good here and he liked the arena and the environment.”

One in a million horse

If she can explain what makes Dante Weltino special? “Dante is a once in a million horse. I have been riding him since he was 5-years-old and he is twelve now, so we did the whole journey together. He is definitely the horse of my life, who has made so many dreams come true already: the final of the Olympic games, the World Championships finals, European Championships finals. Yes, he is my dreamhorse.”

Grand Prix Freestyle

In the Grand Prix Freestyle there was a big win for Belgium. Larissa Pauluis rode a super freestyle with her Flambeau (by. Ampere) and they took the win with 77.550%. The second place was for Fie Christine Skarsoe from Luxembourg. With Imperador Dos Credos (by Rubi) she scored 74.090%. It was quite a close call, but with 73.845% Richard Davison won the third prize with his Bubblingh (by Lingh).


Photo Therese Nilshagen: Digishots

Hattrick for Charlotte Fry & Jackson in Small Tour

Charlotte Fry & Jackson scored a hattrick in the Small Tour competition. With a smashing 75.775% they also won the Freestyle today, and that was the third win in a row for this lovely couple. Charlotte took Jackson to CDI Lier to let him gain experience in international competitions and a bigger entourage. Jackson learned a lot this week and he proves himself to be a promising horse for the future.

The top three was completed by the Netherlands and Belgium. It was the Dutch Quinty Vossers with Inferno who became second, with a nice score of 73.670%. The Belgian Jorinde Verwimp scored 73.600% with her Golddream vd Kempenhoeve and she won the very well deserved third price.

This afternoon we have a clinic with Tineke Bartels & Kevin van Ham, at 14.30PM, followed by the CDI 4* Grand Prix Freestyle to Music. Visit CDI Lier or follow the sport from home, through the free live stream of ClipMyHorse.

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Photo Charlotte Fry & Jackson: Digishots

Standing ovation for Belgian Larissa Pauluis after winning the Grand Prix Special

The standing ovation during the lap of honor was for the Belgian rider Larissa Pauluis today. Together with her First-Step Valentin (by Vitalis) she won the CDI 3* Grand Prix Special with a score of 71.489%.

“I was really happy with First-Step Valentin today! He is still young and he is a stallion, so sometimes it’s hard for him to stay focused in the ring. But today he did the job and we made no big mistakes. I bought him when he was 2,5-years-old and trained him to the Grand-Prix, so that’s quite special.”

First international win

“It’s the first time for First-Step Valentin that he wins an international competition and it’s extra special that it happened here today, at CDI Lier. For me this competition is an amazing place to be, everything is just perfect: the organization, the stables, the arena. I really like riding here.”

The second place was for the Swedish Malin Wahlkamp-Nilsson with Bergsjoholms Valbonne (by Blue Horse Zack) with a result of 71.340%. Dutch rider Gerdine Maree and her Holiday (by Dream Boy) won the third prize with 69.723%.

Spanish dance moves

In the CDI 3* Grand Prix Freestyle the Portuguese Juan Antonio Jimenez Cobo was the winner, after riding a spectaculair freestyle at uplifting Spanish music. The judges placed him at the top of the rankings with his stunning Spanish gelding Euclides Mor, with a solid score of 75.430%. The French Camille Judet Cheret became second with her lovely Scoop Du Bois Luric. She scored 73.000%. The third place was for the Hungarian Benedek Pachl and Donna Friderika. Their performance was rewarded with a score of 72.415%.


Photo Larissa Pauluis: Digishots


Therese Nilshagen wins CDI 4* Grand Prix from the start

She came, she saw and she conquered. The Swedish Therese Nilshagen was the first rider to enter the arena in the CDI 4* Grand Prix with her Dante Weltino Gold Old. (by Danone 4). None of the 19 other riders managed to improve her smashing score of 75.54%.

Therese was closely followed by her Swedish colleague Juliette Ramel, who rode Buriel K.H. (by Osmium) to the second place with 75.239%. The German Dorothee Schneider was third with her Sisters Act MT Old. (by Sandro), they were rewarded with 73.609%. The fourth place was for the Belgian Larissa Pauluis with Flambeau (by Ampere), they received an average 71.565% from the juries. Finnish rider Yvonne Österholm was placed fifth with Ironman H (by Bordeaux).

Small Tour

The win in the Small Tour Inter I went to Charlotte Fry and Jackson. With 72.382% they achieved a convincing victory. “Jackson was really good, today’s test was already much better than last time, so yes, I’m happy! It was only his second Inter I test ever so it’s all still new for him. Also, this is probably the biggest entourage he’s ever been in but he handled it very well. He was a little nervous so we had some small mistakes, but he’s going to be very exciting for the future.”

Special horse

Jackson is a special horse for Charlotte. “Jackson is a little nervous and he needs to have a good partnership with his rider, so he’s really a one-person horse. Once he trusts you, he gives everything. That’s what I like about him. He’s still new to the competitions but it’s going really well, I’m happy with his progress.”

Belgian rider Jennifer Reimer became second with her Daiquiri Royal (by Dancier) with 70.471%. She was followed closely by the Dutch Marieke Ponzo Dieu-de Pundert who became third with Haliego (by Diego), with 70.441%. Dutch Saskia Poel also did well with Hero-K (by Charmeur) and ended at the fourth place. Belgium’s Isabel Cool completed the top five with Herr Charmeur Coolhorses (by Charmeur).


Photo Therese Nilshagen: Digishots


Charlotte Fry: “For younger horses, CDI Lier is the perfect entourage to gain experience”

Olympic, European and World Championship medalist and reigning World Champion: we are of course talking about British dressage rider Charlotte Fry! She is here, at CDI Lier, and we asked her what she thinks of the competition and which horses she took with her.

“For me, CDI Lier is the perfect environment to give my younger and less experienced horses experience with bigger atmospheres. It’s such a beautiful entourage here, I really love it.  Especially since the stables have been built permanently since two years, that makes it all perfect.”

We spoke to Charlotte right after her second win with Jackson, in the Small Tour Inter I. Whether she was happy with her ride? “Jackson was really good, the test we rode today was already much better than last time, so yes, I’m happy! It was only his second Inter I test ever so it’s all still new for him. Also, this is probably the biggest atmosphere he’s ever been in, but he handled it very well. He was a little nervous so we had some little mistakes, but he’s going to be very exciting for the future.”

Jackson is a special horse for Charlotte. “Jackson is a little nervous and he needs to have a good partnership with his rider, so he’s really a one-person horse. Once he trusts you, he gives everything. That’s what I like about him. He’s still new to the competitions but it’s going really well, I’m happy with his progress.”

Charlotte has another ride tonight, in the Grand Prix Special. “I also took Inclusive to Lier, for the CDI 3* Grand Prix. It’s his first big competition in a long time so it was still a bit too exciting for him yesterday, but we’ll see how that goes tonight in the Grand Prix Special. He is learning a lot and he is also a promising horse for the future.”

Photo: DigiShots – Charlotte Fry & Jackson

Danish Ida Kirstine Bjørn smashes the Young Riders freestyle

There were tears, cuddles and a smile from ear to ear. The Danish rider Ida Kirstine Bjørn is more than proud on her just 9-years-old lovely Hussmanns Jackson and couldn’t believe the smashing 77.183% she scored in the freestyle.

“This was so amazing. Hussmanns Jackson did so really well”, she told us afterwards. ”He just totally smashed our previous record in the freestyle. He scored so much higher than ever before, that’s just amazing. Specially in this big arena, with a lot of people.”

Just 9-years-old
“He is just 9-years-old and hasn’t got a lot of experience. We started riding Young Riders about a year ago. So I still feel he’s a little bit green sometimes. When I got him, he knew the changes, but he didn’t do competitions at all. I have him for one and a half year right now.” Hussmanns Jackson seems to like the arena in Lier. On the first day he took the win with a score of 71.961% and he became third on Thursday with a score of 71.079%.

“He likes the attention”
“On Thursday he got a bit tense but today he just enjoyed, I think he knows when people are looking at him. He likes the attention, but his power needs to be manageable, though. He has got a lot of blood and he is quite a sensitive horse, but that’s getting better and better. He’s really growing up and always putting his best foot forward.”

Final year as a Young Rider
Can you tell us something about your plans and dreams with Hussmanns Jackson? “It’s a bit scary to say, but I hope to go to the Europeans. Although we have got a lot of good riders and horses in Denmark. So we’ll see, but for now we will do the best we can. It’s my last year as a young rider so I just want to enjoy it.” And then, U25? “I’m sure he has got the potential for U25. So hopefully we can come back to Lier next year.”

Belgian Jette de Jong second
With a really small difference between the second and third place, the Belgian Jette de Jong took the silver spot. Her horse Heavenly Charming ended up with a score of 73.667%. The British Jessica McConkey scored 73.650% with Wilson Stensvang and became third.

The Dutch Esmee Broers made it to a hattrick, winning the Freestyle with Kiki G as well today. The score of 74.833% did get her on top of the podium. The Belgian Anna Peeters became second with Harlekin, she scored 73.583%. Also the third place went to a Belgium rider. This time Clara Collard and Escape managed a top 3 result, with a score of 73.250%.

The final class of today was the U25 and again it was an entire Dutch podium. Zoe Kuintjes made it to a third win this week with her partner in crime Cupido RS2. They scored 72.615% in their Freestyle. Julia Bouthoorn and Choice Finch became second with a score of 71.510%. The third place was for Lotte van den Herik and her stallion Giovanni. Their performance was rewarded with a score of 70.755%.


Photo Ida Kirstine Bjørn: Digishots

Come and visit CDI Lier

CDI Lier is halfway. We have had some amazing days already and there are still a few magnificent days to come! And the best of it? You can join us.

After the Freestyles of the Juniors, Young Riders and U25 there will be a riders party tonight. The program continues with the CDI1* Inter I, the 4* Grand Prix, the 3* Grand Prix Special and on top the 3* Grand Prix Freestyle, on Saturday.

Also Sunday will be spectacular. Besides the Grand Prix Special and Freestyle there will be a clinic with Kevin van Ham and Tineke Bartels. Kevin is a Belgium Para Dressage rider who competed at the Paralympic Games of Tokyo and the World Championships of Herning, and on top of that he also competes at regular Grand Prix level, with the same horse. That’s absolutely unique. The well-known Tineke Bartels is a former Olympic rider from the Netherlands.

Make sure you attend CDI Lier on Sunday and don’t miss a thing of the clinic that will be around 14.30 and in between the Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle.

The entree fee on Friday, Saturday and Sunday is 10 euro, tickets will be sold at the entrance. Parking is for free. You are more than welcome to visit CDI Lier.


Jos Struys: “I never find it boring”

Who doesn’t know him? He is a familiar face at national and international competitions and so too at CDI Lier. He has been working there since the first edition. Without him, no rider would be able to start, as he is responsible for opening and closing the arena. We are talking about Jos Struys.

Jos Struys
CDI Lier 2023
© DigiShots

What he likes most about CDI Lier? “The people and the stewards, I’ve known them for years.” He sees all the horses very closely and does his task with concentration. “I keep an eye on everything. I am not allowed to move and I watch carefully what the judges are doing.” And that is important. “I noticed once that the judge’s bell stopped working. I have to keep an eye on that.” Whether what he does is boring? “No, I never find it boring.”

Jos is a real horse lover and thanks to his work he has been to many places. “I like being at hotels. It’s nice and here they also have a very nice hotel.” Does he ever go on holiday? “This is my holiday, I just grew into it that way. I do get busier and busier, because it’s hard to get volunteers.” But Jos doesn’t seem to mind.

When not at work, Jos can be found among the horses. “I have three horses I take care of sometimes. I go there by bike. One of them is as tall as 1.80m. I give them attention and sometimes I have to put blankets on. My sponsor Onori made those.” Proudly, Jos shows a photo. “That horse is attached to me, and I to the horse. When he sees me, he is happy. Horses have to get to know you.”

What he likes best about his work? “That I can be close to the horses. I hope to continue doing this work for years to come.” And we hope so too!

Three in a row for Belgian Liezel Everars

Day after day the Belgium’s Liezel Everars managed to crush her competitors and so she did tonight in the Pony freestyle. With almost 3% difference, she won the third pony class on her well-moving pony FS Capelli De Niro.

Liezel Everars had a good start to her final season in the ponies at CDI Lier. The rider hopes to compete in her fifth pony EC this summer. “That would be a nice conclusion to my pony time”, she said.

Rising line
Dutch Sissi Gijssen climbed a spot in the rankings every day. On Tuesday she became fourth, yesterday third and today there was a second place in the freestyle. Riding her pony New Star 8, her freestyle was rewarded with 74.833%.

Successful Maddy Dijkshoorn
Maddy Dijkshoorn also enjoyed a successful CDI Lier. She managed to secure a place on the podium for three days. During the first two days she finished second and today she added a third place to her list of honours. She did so in the saddle of Boogie de L’Aube and today’s result was 72.975%. Belgium’s Anna Peeters and her pony Balotelli finished just outside the podium today with fourth place and a score of 72.500%.

Three different winners
The Children also entered the beautiful arena of CDI Lier for the third and final time. In this class, every day a different combination managed to finish on top and today this honour went to Germany’s Grete Louise Wagner. With her Furst Deluxe (by Fuerstenball), she scored 73.139% in the Individual Test. Yesterday’s winner, Turkish Lal Mira Gürgen became second in the saddle of her Lowland (by Bordeaux) with a score of 72.792%. Third was the winner of the first day, Sophie Evers. She rode her Beaumonde (by United) to a score of 71.148%.


Photo Liezel Everars: Digishots