World Champion Four-in-Hand
Tjeerd Velstra's passion for horses began at a young age, leading him to a successful career in show jumping and later in four-in-hand combined driving, where he became an international icon and renowned trainer known for his deep connection with horses and ability to build harmonious teams.
Enthusiasm for the Horse as a Career Starting Point
Tjeerd Velstra got his first pony at the age of five. His father was passionate about training riding and driving horses and took his son with him when training and driving the carriage. In his youth, Tjeerd Velstra's connection with equestrian sport deepened. At the age of 18, he first became enthusiastic about the jumping sport, from 1957 until 1976, crowned by competing as part of the Dutch National show jumping team.
When his show jumping career came to an end, Tjeerd Velstra transitioned to four-in-hand combined driving. Not only did he manage to use his extensive knowledge of the horse to take part in the driving sport but he was also able to use his riding skills to refine and support the training of his horses.
An International Icon of the Driving Sport
The Dutchman, Tjeerd Velstra, has had a lasting influence on the sport of driving. He collected numerous individual titles such as World Champion in 1982 and contributed to the Netherlands becoming the leading country in the driving world with numerous team gold medals.
Tjeerd Velstra held the Dutch Champion title seven times and won many national and international competitions including the CHIO of Aachen in 1983 and 1984.
Although his career as a driver is impressive, he has also had huge success as a trainer. From 2007 to 2010, he has led the Dutch Team to many team and individual International victories.
A True Horseman Behind the Driving Reins
Tjeerd Velstra holds a reputation for making his horses truly shine. His successful career was imprinted by his ability to create deep connections with his horses as well as to build harmonious teams in front of his carriages. He impressed not only with his effectiveness and dexterity when driving four-in-hand but also with his talent to train each horse individually towards the goal of the team.
His motto: "Only he who treats his horses with respect and care and only demands as much of them as of himself, will have the success he desires and this will bring joy to the horses, to himself and to the audience"
Four-in-Hand and Tandem Driving: Training for Horse and Driver
Selecting and Training a Great Driving Horse
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