Hilcara makes dream come true for Lauranne Lammens with gold at BK U25

‘A dream come true, still a bit surreal. It has yet to sink in,’ said a very happy champion. After bronze and silver, it is now gold for Lauranne Lammens at the Belgian U25 Championships, her first national title with her dancing partner in crime: Hilcara van het Vijverbos.

The 17-year-old mare has a special spot in Lauranne Lammens’ her heart. She told us earlier that the mare has been in her life for 12 years, half of Lauranne’s life. ‘This is everything, really everything. The breeder was here who has followed us all the years from level 1, 2, 3, to national. I’m really very proud of her. We have bronze, silver and then this year gold. Hilcara is my faithful dance partner, sticking with me and being patient with me all these years. She deserves it, as so does the breeder and the whole team.’

‘I see myself as an underdog’
The top four were very close together, so the ladies were very much in competition. With a win on the first day and victory in the freestyle, the gold was for Lauranne Lammens. Her freestyle was rewarded with a score of 74.550%. ‘We had started really well this week and were able to keep that up. Every day I was like ‘okay, today it is going to be over, enjoy it while it lasts that you are first’. And then finish it, that’s fantastic.’ The modest rider gives all the credits to her horse. ‘I keep seeing myself as an underdog all these years. That I couldn’t keep up with the others. Also this year with so many strong combinations. The top five would have been good for me beforehand and with the top three I would already be very happy and then suddenly finding that we can come out on top, that’s a giga feeling. Hilcara has all the confidence I don’t have. She comes the ring and thinks, ‘Look at me, I’ll do a dance here’. That’s really the nicest feeling, that you feel she’s growing in the ring and thinks ‘yes, I’ll do that’.

At home in the saddle
The medal chances did make the race extra exciting for Lauranne Lammens. But she still managed to enjoy herself along the way. ‘Once that music starts, it works. I always try to ride my own test. On the rest I have no control, how others do it or what the judges think. When I’m in the saddle I do feel at ease. Then I am home again.’ The 17-year-old mare still looks super fit. ‘She still feels very fresh and youthful, as long as she can enjoy it and she feels like it we will continue. The day she shows now it’s enough, then I’m going to respect that too.’

Top 3
Silver went to Suraya Hendrikx and Dear Friend 2, their freestyle was rewarded with 74.255%. Bronze was for Amber van den Steen and Fame, they came fourth in the freestyle with 73.495%.


Photo: Digishots