It was September 3rd, 2006, a grey, late summer day in the imperial city of Aachen, when a Dutchman riding for Belgium was crowned as the World Show Jumping Champion. Jos Lansink claimed the title with Cumano, finishing ahead of Beezie Madden (USA) and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) after a breath-taking jump-off. He stood on the top step of the podium at the Aachen Soers enjoying the moment and the atmosphere. Almost exactly 20 years later a new chapter of equestrian sport history will be written at the FEI World Championships Aachen 2026. And Jos Lansink, today Head Coach of the Dutch show-jumpers, knows exactly what that feels like and revealed in our interview, why he still gets goosebumps when he thinks about that day.
What were your first thoughts, when you heard that Aachen had won the bid to stage the FEI World Championships 2026?
Super! Terrific! Nothing could be better! Aachen is the best and most traditional equestrian sport venue all over the globe. Every rider dreams about competing here one day. Even more unique if it happens to be during the World Championships!
What was your team’s reaction to this news?
Of course, everyone wants to be on the team in Aachen in 2026. It is going to be one of the major goals of every rider over the next two and a half years. And anyone, who qualifies, will of course also dream of winning a medal.
You know all too well what it feels like to win the World Championships in Aachen. Tell us about your memories of 2006?
The FEI World Equestrian Games 2006 were my main goal. I had planned everything around it and Cumano and I were well-prepared and in great form. Whereby, things didn’t exactly run smoothly at first. It rained heavily during the first jumping class and I appropriately had a mistake at the water obstacle. I was soaking wet when I left the ring and only came 41st, so I already felt like the World Championships were over for me…
But they weren’t.
No, they weren’t, from then on everything went perfectly. In the Nations’ Cup on the next day Cumano and I jumped clear and we also did two clear rounds in the decisive qualifier for the final of the individual. Yeah and then it was the final day with the change of horses, which I found really exciting. I actually managed to jump clear with Cumano, and Meredith, Beezie and Edwina’s horses (Edwina Alexander [AUS], editor’s note).
And then came the final jump-off against Beezie Madden with Authentic and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum with Shutterfly.
That’s right. I was the first to go and I will never forget that moment. Riding into the sold-out stadium filled with that very special World Championship atmosphere… I still get goosebumps when I think about it. Cumano wasn’t the fastest horse, but we jumped clear again, which put pressure on Beezie and Meredith. And then both of them did actually knock a pole down, in Beezie’s case at the very last obstacle. So, it was incredibly exciting.
What were your feelings at that moment?
Actually it was indescribable. It was a dream come true. Unbelievable. And then that emotional prize-giving ceremony afterwards and to crown it all that convoy through the city of Aachen. That was awesome and I really keep my fingers crossed for everyone who competes at the FEI World Championships Aachen 2026 that they have the opportunity to experience that first hand.
For all information on the FEI World Championships Aachen 2026 and the ticket sales see www.aachen2026.com.