It will be the first time that she will have represented her country at the Olympics. Her horse, Don Juan van de Donkhoeve, was bred at Magda De Laet and Gustaaf Quintelier van de Donkhoeve's stables in the East Flemish municipality of Hamme.
Don Juan van de Donkhoeve is a 12-year-old stallion. Jessica Springsteen joins Laura Kraut (on Baloutine), Kent Farrington (on Gazelle) and McLain Ward (on Contagious) to make up the US Olympic team.
Magda de Laet of the De Donkhoeve stables says that she is pleased that Jessica Spingsteen has been selected for the Olympics. Around 60 horses a year are born at the stables in what Ms De Laet describes as “a hobby that got out of hand”
“You can’t really make a living from it, but if a horse does well it’s good for our reputation”.
She added that "Don Juan is a horse with a lot of blood. Horses need this to be able to jump well. It is also important that it clicks between the horse and its jockey. Horses with a lot of blood are difficult to control. They can jump high and are also fast”.
Joris De Brabander of the De Muze stables bought Don Juan van de Donkhoeve when he was just a foal.
"Don Juan was a sensative, sharp horse with a sense of determination. That’s something he got from his father. With a horse like this it is important that you find the right jockey”, Mr De Brabander told VRT News.
It’s not the first time that a Belgian-bred horse has performed well on the international stage. According to Mr De Brabander three of the horses in the German Olympic team are also Belgian.
Madga De Laet told VRT News that Jessica Springsteen often comes to Belgium to ride. “Apparently she is friends with a Belgian and that’s why she comes her”. She has already competed in Tournaments at Mechelen (Antwerp Province) and Lanaken (Limburg).