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Dutch international para-dressage rider, Glasten Krapels has faced many challenges since deciding to become an equestrian competitor at the age of seven including having to withdraw from the London Paralympics in 2012 and the Rio Paralympics in 2016 due to injuries. Despite this the incredibly talented and resilient Glasten has enjoyed plenty of success including becoming Dutch champion and representing his country at European and World Championships.  Read on to learn more about Glasten, his ambitions and top tips for success

Tell us about you and your horses

Meet Glasten Krapels. Dutch international para-dressage rider and all-round inspirational character
I have ridden several horses over the past seventeen years of my top sporting career. But four of these horses are very special. First of all, my first horse Matador. With this horse my dreams came true. He is now almost 30 years old and is enjoying his retirement at our home. Then Wisconti and Windhook, both horses made available by the Thill Family from Luxembourg. These horses are also kept at home in the stable.   A few weeks ago, I started with a new young horse Obelix Victory, owned by the Freriks family.


How did your horses come into your life?

My uncle and niece were already riding horses. As a small child I loved coming to their stables and that is where I developed my love for horses. Here began an adventure and dreams of becoming a dressage rider.  

When and where do you ride?

Glasten Krapels equestrian
Glasten working at home with Obelix Victory ( benefit x safraan) 4 Year Old
I trained with great pleasure at the Dressage Stables van Baalen for 15 years. I was trained by Coby van Baalen. I learned a lot from Coby to become a good rider with feeling to train the horses. But also, to properly manage the horses. Now I ride at home and with the owners of my new horse.


How did you start riding?

  After I developed a love for horses from my uncle and niece. I saw a para-dressage rider riding at a major horse event, I saw what he could do, I thought to myself, I’d like to do that, but even better. This is where my adventure towards a top sports career began.  

What you and your horses currently working on?

Glasten Krapels Dutch para dressage rider
Glasten and Windhook looking good during at test
I think it is important that my horses are always happy during training. We work together as real team players to make each other better, to refine everything so that we become even more attuned to each other. The nice thing about our sport is that you never stop learning and can always improve and refine.  

What do you love about riding?

What I like best about riding is the collaboration between people and animals. If you understand each other with very little help and achieve success together, it cannot be explained in words.


What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?

Glasten riding his beloved Matador
  I have now been in the saddle of the four-year-old Obelix Victory for five weeks. Obelix is ​​a very talented horse and very eager to learn. I hope that together we can start the new journey towards the 2028 Paralympic Games. That is a long-term goal and dream. We’ll see what time will bring us.


Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding? 

In my younger years I was very nervous. This also affected my performance. I then went to a sports psychologist for advice, which was very helpful and taught me to control my nerves.

Do you have any rituals before competing?

  I have several rituals before my competition. I always want to do everything the same, both for myself and for my horses. So, this is basically it. Even though things sometimes turn out differently, you naturally have to respond to this. But keep everything the same as much as possible.

Your Top Tip

Glasten Krapels horse rider
Glasten and Windhook looking good during a test
Make sure you always enjoy training your horses. What you give to them, you get back.

What is the best piece of advice that you have ever been given?

  The best advice, this is difficult, I have had so many. But I maintain that you must make sure that your horse is happy and that you and your horse understand each other well, because I think that is when you can achieve the best performance. Everything starts from love and respect for each other.

Down the Centre Line


Who would be your dream horse to ride?

  I thought it would be cool to feel Totilas under saddle. He was a magical horse.

Who is your equestrian hero?

  Coby van Baalen & Anky van Grunsven  

If you could have 5 people to dinner, who would they be?

  My own friends, they are amazing!  

Favourite colour horse?

  I always say a good and sweet horse has no colour  

Favourite horse event?

Jumping Amersterdam – I love this show in the city

Favourite food?

  Pizza, my all-time favourite  

Favourite way to relax?

  Dinner with my friends

Favourite film?

  Hunger Games


Want More?

If you enjoyed meeting Glasten you might like to view more dressage rider “chatting with” interviews here .  You can keep up with Glasten’s progress and check out his instagram page here

Sharon Howe

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Hi! I am Sharon Howe

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Hello My name is Sharon Howe and I am horse mad. This site is my place to scribble away my…


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