Zoë Niessen unbeatable in Diamond Cup

It has been quite a successful week for Zoë Niessen at the Belgian Championships. She managed to qualify for the freestyle final of the Diamant Cup with three horses and just now she was honoured as the overall winner as well as occupying second and fourth place. ‘It’s really absolutely fantastic and didn’t expect this,’ she said.

Zoë Niessen entered the Diamant Cup with relatively inexperienced horses, but that did not stand in the way of her success. None of the three horses had been to a multi-day competition before. ‘The atmosphere is good, the arenas are super nice and it is nicely decorated. Really nicely done and super organised. The horses learn a lot here,’ Zoë Niessen praises the organisation.

Without expectations
Her winning horse is Fascinize (by For Romancier), or Fred. ‘I’ve been riding Fred for three months now, so not that long yet. We came here with no expectations because he has never run a big competition before or been away from home for several days. And then he just does a fantastic job every day. Especially also the second day, when there was water in the arena and he loved that exactly. He tried super hard.’ She came second in the final standings with Je Suis Special (by Charmeur). There was third place for Justin Verboomen with his horse Bollinger (by Bon Coeur).

Prijsuitreiking Diamant Cup 1. Zoe Niessen – Fascinize, 2. Zoe Niessen – Je Suis Special, 3. Justin Verboomen – Bollinger
BK Lier 2024
© DigiShots

First U25 year
The 21-year-old rider has already ridden three junior European Championships herself, twice in the ponies and once in the Young Riders. ‘This is my first U25 year, yesterday I came fourth, so that’s not such a bad start. That horse is also only nine years old and it’s the first multi-day competition for that horse too.’ She is competing in the Belgian U25 Championships with Kumbaya (by Governor).

Niessen not bored
In total, Zoë Niessen has five horses with her, and boredom is not one of them. ‘I naturally hope to get as far as possible with these horses and remain successful. And of course that they continue to enjoy the work, that is the most important thing. Lots of variety, jumping, going out for hacks a bit. And out to field, of course.


Photo: Digishots