Sjef Janssen has resigned from his position as Dutch senior team chef d'equipe. The Dutch Equestrian Federation has announced this surprising news today. The resignation is effective immediately.
Janssen has given a disagreement between the top and sub-top riders as reason for his resignation. He stated that he is disappointed that an important group of the top and sub-top Dutch dressage riders do not want to commit themselves fully to a professional preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Janssen, who is known to be a very focused and passionate person, wants to go to the extreme to achieve his goal. Recently, he got the impression that not all riders are as committed as he is to this Olympic goal.
"I have the feeling that an important group of top riders don't have the top sport mentality which, in my opinion, is necessary for the preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games. This is reason enough for me to quit as chef d'equipe. The riders are too focused with peripheral things and too little with top sport. Meetings with the A and B-teams as well as individual discussions did not lead to improvement, nor commitment," Janssen explained.
The Dutch Equestrian Federation regrets Janssen's decision. "We had a good feeling that we were on the right road for the preparations for Hong Kong. Janssen gave new stimuli to the management of the dressage team and worked on a very professional level," said Dutch Equestrian Federation Director Top Sport George de Jong.
Janssen will now redirect his attention to his partner Anky van Grunsven as well as his a group of potential team members who train with him.
Photo copyrighted: Astrid Appels/Eurodressage