November 9, 2011 - The Rolex One to Watch for November 2011 is Dutch rider, Albert Voorn. Based at Golden Dream Stables, situated approximately 45 kms from Eindhoven (NED), the 55-year-old jumped from number 342 to 225 during October – a move up the Rolex Rankings of 117 places.
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.
Born on 23 May 1956, and brought up in Hilversum – a small town in the province of North Holland – Voorn started to ride when he was eight-years-old. Voorn bought a New Forest pony foal called Marinette from his own savings, which he learned to ride with the help of his neighbour when the pony was old enough. It was with Marinette that Voorn rode his first competition, and went on to compete internationally. Voorn sold Marinette to the Vermeulen family in Breukelen, and with this money he bought a three-year-old horse.
These days Voorn is a veteran of Jumping, with 30 years of experience. Voorn has competed all over the world in Grands Prix, Championships, Nations Cups, and the Olympic Games. Voorn used to ride the legendary Nimmerdor, and together they were hugely successful. The pair was selected by the Dutch Jumping team to compete at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles; but due to Nimmerdor's stud commitments Voorn was unable to compete.
Voorn was once regarded as one of the world’s leading Jumping riders, with horses such as Rasputin, Concern, Winnipeg, Oisterwijks Opstalan, Jewels Amethyst, and Lando. In Lando, Voorn had a Jumping superstar and a superb stallion, and the pair went on to compete in many Grands Prix and Nations Cups, but it was at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney where the pair really excelled when winning the individual silver medal; Voorn was denied the gold medal by compatriot, Jeroen Dubbeldam and his mount, De Sjiem.
Throughout the month of October 2011 Voorn recorded some outstanding results, the highlight being his win with the bay gelding, Tobalio, in the 1.45m class at the CSI 3* St. Lo (FRA). Other notable results that have helped Voorn’s ascent into the Top 250 of the Rolex Rankings, thereby earning him the accolade of November’s Rolex One to Watch, include second place with the chestnut gelding, Eurocommerce Lexington, at the CSI 2* Barbizon (FRA); four further top 10 places at the CSI 2* Barbizon (FRA) with Eurocommerce Lexington, and the grey stallion, Curtis; and a seventh and eighth place finish with Tobalio at the CSI 3* St. Lo (FRA).
Voorn has been able to achieve great results with horses that others have not had success with. Voorn tries to pass on some of his expertise by giving lessons and demonstrations to riders worldwide. In 2002, in recognition of his training and teaching, Albert was awarded the title of Rider of Honour by Mr. Porte de Theil of the Cadre Noir in Saumur, France.
Voorn entered the Rolex Rankings for the first time in May 2011 and was placed in 1,094th position, and from there he has moved upwards every month to where he is now. Following the CSI 1* & 2* Vidauban (FRA) in November Voorn’s horses will rest, until they start to compete again in February 2012 on the Sunshine Tour.
For details online featuring the Rolex Rankings please click here
December’s Rolex One to Watch will be announced at the beginning of December 2011.
Photo Caption: Albert Voorn riding Eurocommerce Lexington at the CSI2* Valkenswaard (NED). Photo: SPORTFOT/Rolex