The Rolex One to Watch for December 2011 is Belgian rider, Annelies Vorsselmans. Based at Stal Eurocommerce, situated approximately 130 kms to the East of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, the 27-year-old jumped from number 334 to 245 during November – a move up the Rolex Rankings of 89 places.
Born on 28 June 1983, and brought up in Belgium, Vorsselmans started to ride at a very young age, and as a child grew up surrounded by horses and ponies. During her childhood years Vorsselmans rode Dressage, and not without merit; she qualified for the national finals held in Mechelen, Belgium three times. It was after Vorsselmans’ father gave her his Jumping horse that her focus started to move away from Dressage.
When Vorsselmans was 18 years old she had to make a tough, life-affirming decision: to either carry on with her studies, or alternatively to pursue a life dedicated to riding horses professionally. Having chosen the latter option, Vorsselmans ended up at the Eurohorse stables of renowned Dutch rider and horse dealer, Axel Verlooy, and it was during her time there that Vorsselmans says she really learned to ride. Based in Grobbendonk, Belgium, Verlooy currently employs Harrie Smolders and his son, Jos Verlooy, and, between the three of them, they operate a very successful equestrian outfit.
Vorsselmans currently trains at Stal Eurocommerce, where she has been employed since December 2010. Vorsselmans trains alongside Gerco Schrӧder at the Lochem-based stables, and she is confident that this is where her Jumping career will continue to excel.
Throughout the month of November 2011 Vorsselmans recorded some impressive results, none more so than her first ever Grand Prix win at the CSI2* Oldenburg (GER) riding Eurocommerce Cleveland. Further notable results include a third place finish riding Eurocommerce Capetown in the Winning Round at the CSI2* Oldenburg (GER).
The Rolex One to Watch is an initiative which identifies the rider who has made the biggest jump within or into the Top 250 of the Rolex Rankings the previous month.
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images