Dutch 5* Judge Francis Verbeek Becomes Spain’s “Team Manager,” Olympic Rider Bernadette Pujals Young Horse Technical Advisor

4 months ago StraightArrow Comments Off on Dutch 5* Judge Francis Verbeek Becomes Spain’s “Team Manager,” Olympic Rider Bernadette Pujals Young Horse Technical Advisor
Bernadette Pujals at the 2016 Olympics. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Feb. 1, 2022

Francis Verbeek van Rooij, an international 5* judge of the Netherlands, has been appointed Spain’s dressage team manager, succeeding coach Rudolf Zeilinger who stepped down, in a move the federation described as a “remodeling” of the country’s international division. At the same time, Bernadette Pujals, who competed for Mexico at Olympics and championships but now rides for Spain, will become Technical Advisor for the young horse program.

Change in Spain’s high performance group came after Rudolf Zeilinger opted to focus on personal coaching rather than teams.

Francis, the RFHE said, “will be responsible for the group of high competition riders and horses.”

The 66-year-old has been a judge at Olympics and championships and has “extensive experience in the world of dressage, with a great technical knowledge. Her work will be dedicated especially toward the participation of the Spanish team in international competition.”

Bernadette Pujals, 53, competed for Mexico at the 2008 and 2016 Olympics as well as the 1998 and 2006 World Equestrian Games plus four Pan American Games to earn team and individual bronze medals in 1999.

She will become Technical Advisor of the program for horses five to eight years of age.