We're still taking to riders, breeders and organizers how this current corona situation is affecting their daily life. Today we talked tot Dirk Demeersman. Demeersman is a former chef d'équipe of the Belgian team but right now he is focussing on his career as a rider again. We talked about his horses, about corona and about his plans for the future.
To start with: rumor has it you had corona. Is that true?
Difficult to say because I never got tested. Fact is that my wife had some severe symptoms during the first week of quarantine. She had a high fever, had to cough a lot, ... We however decided to play it safe and we quarantined ourselves. A week later, I got some symptoms as well but three days later I already felt much better. It could have been corona, but it's also possible that it was a flue. I mean, everyone gets sick sometimes, don't they? Like I said, I didn't get tested so I will probably never know. Most important things is that we immediately took action by quarantining ourselves so we couldn't contaminate other people.
What does a day look like right now?
I'm still riding seven to eight horses a day. I try to keep my horses moving, but I don't train them too hard because I think that's not necessary right now. You don't know when competition is going to start again so I think the most important thing is to keep your horses fit. Once we know when we can start again, we again have a goal to work for, but I try to keep things as quiet as possible right now. I also train more young horses because usually I don't have much time to ride them. I try to take the opportunity to ride them and get to know them. But as you can tell, I have enough work to fill my days".
When do you think competition will start again?
I think that won't be happening any time soon. I think we can never go back to the world as we've known it. Only time will tell what this virus will mean for our sport. I think we have to follow the measures taken by our government as good as possible, not just because we want to start competing again, because that's not the most important thing right now, but because we want to return to normality as soon as possible. That's what we try to do in our stable as well: we keep on working but we follow all measures being taken and we don't take any risks.