Eric Groot of Spanbrook looks back at last week and weekend more than satisfied. In Hoogwoud, he organized the European International Championships, a five-day European Sheep Herding Championship. During this event, he was declared an honorary citizen of the municipality of Omer by the seven mayors of West Friesland.
Over the past few days, participants and visitors from sixteen different European countries have traveled to Hoogwoud to attend European InternationalEuropean Sheep Shepherd Championship. Dozens of participants took part in the competition, which was won by the Dutch Susanne Leguis.
“We started on Wednesday with the first preliminary rounds,” explains organizer Eric Groot. “Then we had to get used to each other as a team. And that was very exciting for a while, but then the first day, the release immediately followed.”
Eric himself did it for the first time since five years Compete with border collie how. However, it wasn’t a weekend spot for him. “The dog made a lot of mistakes in the beginning, so I decided to get out of the competition myself,” he says. “It wasn’t good enough. There are no excuses.”
A worthy final course
On the first day, as well as on Thursday and Friday, the best fifteen workers (Sheep Drivers, editor) for the last weekend. On Saturday, the top 15 players qualified for the final on Sunday.
“There was a real family atmosphere on the site during the European International Championships”
“Over the weekend, I felt a completely different tension. It hit or misses all of the participants,” Groot says. “I set a path to the final that was worthy of the final, and it’s a very difficult path.” For a moment the course seemed to be very challenging, because the first three riders were unable to complete the course.
“Then we squeezed him a little bit, but three laps before the break someone did an excellent run,” Eric says. “The audience was also excited about it, and we looked at each other as an organization with an expression: ‘Do you think it should work?’ “.
Put on the map
Under the supervision of thousands of visitors, the Dutchwoman Susanne Lewis won the European International Championship. Next to her on the podium was a place for German No. 2 and French No. 3. The tournament can also be watched outside the stadium. The Live broadcast It was watched by more than 3,500 unique visitors from all over Europe during the event.
“It was very close in terms of the number of participants,” says Eric. “There was a great atmosphere around the course.” “There was a real family atmosphere on the site. Everyone could have a drink and a drink. Visitors often spent hours with us on the balcony. I am convinced that if we approached it more, we would have won the 2017 Atmosphere World Cup again.”
“As an organization, I don’t think we’ve lost anything,” Eric Grote continues. “We really put sport on the map. We also liked to show sheep herding during the demonstrations to people who have no idea what’s going on in the countryside. And to make everyone realize that the agricultural sector is also a sport.”
Honorary Citizen of Opmeer
All this also happened under the watchful eye of seven West Frisian mayors, who had a great surprise for Eric. When they stood in the participants’ square during the intermission to give a speech, Grothe was summoned to them and told that he had been declared an honorary citizen of the municipality of Aubert.
“In 2015, I told the mayors at the time that if they wanted to attract more tourists to the area, they had to work together more,” Grote says. “They did, and during the previous event, all seven became ambassadors. They said that people in America, Brazil, China and Japan, among others, now know where Omer is. And all because of the dogs and the little black and white sheep.”
It is not yet known if Groot will organize a new European Championship in the future. The World Cup in West Friesland, as it was staged in 2017, is out of the question. “The last time I was actually told it was impossible,” Eric says. “In the UK, they think this is so critical that they never want to leave it, and so they organize it themselves.”
But the presence of a new European International in Hoogwoud cannot be ruled out. He concludes, “I wouldn’t say I would never stage anything again, but if I did it would be bigger than the last version.”
Watch NH Nieuws’ report on the event last week:
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