Jan Ranzijn (NED), a former Para-Equestrian Driving World Champion, has died following an accident during his work as a crane operator. He was 68 years old. From Warmenhuizen in the province of North Holland, Jan Ranzijn was a regular and hugely respected member of the Dutch Para-Equestrian Driving team.
He was crowned World Champion in the Grade I horse pairs on home ground at Hellendoorn (NED) in 2006. Other highlights during his competitive career were team gold at the 2012 FEI Para-Equestrian Driving World Championships in Breda (NED), where he also claimed individual bronze behind his compatriot Jacques Poppen, and team silver at the 2010 World Championships, also in Breda.
He drove as a singles competitor in 2008 and 2010, and also competed in able-bodied Driving competitions in The Netherlands with a horse team.
After his double medal success in Breda last year, he spoke of his love of the sport and of his pride in the home-bred eight-year-old Friesian gelding Nico van de Haffriehoeve: “Being 67 years old, I realise how fortunate I am that I can experience this. I enjoyed the competition very much and I enjoy driving every day. Nico is getting stronger, so I hope to be part of this wonderful team again in two years.”
He had already started his preparations for next year’s World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships in Sandringham (GBR).
“Jan Ranzijn was a highly respected athlete, competing both in Para-Equestrian Driving and in able-bodied Driving events,” Bettina De Rham, FEI Director Driving, Vaulting and Reining said. “It is tragic to lose him in such a way. He was a true team player, and his enthusiasm and commitment will be sorely missed in the Driving world.”
The FEI expresses its sincere condolences to Jan Ranzijn’s family and close circle of friends, to the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation and to all his friends in the Para-Equestrian Driving and Driving communities.