• FEI World Individual Dressage Ranking Number 1: Isabell Werth (GER) Photo: Hippo Foto/Dirk Caremans

    FEI World Individual Dressage Ranking Number 1: Isabell Werth (GER) Photo: Hippo Foto/Dirk Caremans

  • Longines Rankings Show Jumping Number 1: Steve Guerdat (SUI) Photo: Hippo Foto/Dirk Caremans

    Longines Rankings Show Jumping Number 1: Steve Guerdat (SUI) Photo: Hippo Foto/Dirk Caremans

  • FEI World Eventing Athlete Rankings Number 1: Oliver Townend (GBR) Photo: Hippo Foto/Dirk Caremans

    FEI World Eventing Athlete Rankings Number 1: Oliver Townend (GBR) Photo: Hippo Foto/Dirk Caremans

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Oliver Townend's Black Tie retires

British eventer Oliver Townend is retiring his 2014 WEG and CCI4* horse Black Tie. The ‘small but mighty’ 18-year-old Thoroughbred finished fourth at the CCI4*Luhmühlen won Burnham Market CIC3* in 2014. Black Tie will enjoy his retirement with friends of owner Karyn Shuter. Shuter competed ‘Tonti’ herself up to novice level, and describes him as a “funny little character, cheeky but very genuine”, who apparently used to get rid of his jockeys; “He refuses to let any new work experience people put the headcollar on, but had a fantastic trainable brain and was just another reason why I love thoroughbreds.” About the decision to retire him, she added; “We never wanted to break him physically or his heart, as that is what made him, him; his belief in himself. We thought this year, he is 18, still trying to buck everyone off but let’s leave it at that, on a high, the way you would always choose to end if you can.” Oliver Townend announced the retirement with mixed emotions; “Tonti truly embodies being small but mighty, and his huge character has put a smile on all our faces from day one. We always agreed we wanted him to finish his competition career fit and healthy so he could enjoy a long and happy retirement, so it is lovely to end on a high with him winning his last event at Osborne last season. Tonti, thanks for all the wonderful times and happy retirement champ!”

Esben Møller joins Helgstrand Dressage

After Esben Møller celebrated his 25th anniversary of working for the Blue Hors stud last year, he announced he is now leaving the Blue Hors stud for a job at Helgstrand Dressage. Esben Møller will be scouting new and talented horses for Andreas Helgstrand, who himself was also a former Blue Hors stable rider competing Don Schufro on the bronze medal winning Danish team at the 2008 Hong Kong Olympics. Møller reports: “I am very grateful to the Kirk Kristiansen family for the trust and the great cooperation, we have had. However, the time has come to try something new and I am really happy to take part of team Helgstrand and to work with Andreas again. I am also looking forward to concentrating on what I am really good at.” Which of course is scouting young talent, like he did with Blue Hors Zack who Møller discovered as a three-year-old at the KWPN Stallion Show. “We can hardly describe how proud we are that Esben has chosen Helgstrand Dressage as his next career step. He has many years of experience and he is able to contribute with valuable knowledge about the selection of young horses. He has a keen eye for quality horses and is incredible at spotting unique horses. I have great respect for what Esben has achieved over time and I am looking forward to the fact that we can now benefit from his experience,” Andreas Helgstrand adds.

Rhodium passed away

KWPN approved stallion Rhodium has passed away. The son of Ferro stood at Anita Rostner’s Myrsjö Gård in Sweden since last December, where he passed away in the field of unknown causes. The stallion was out of the keur/performance mare Larcona (by G.Ramiro Z) and bred by J. Klompers from Oost- West- en Middelbeers in the Netherlands. “Sometimes life is not fair. We are devastated,” Anita Rostner reported, “We will send him for autopsy. Thank you for your time with us, Rhodium.” The 21-year-old Rhodium started his dressage career under Hans Peter Minderhoud, and together they won the KWPN stallion competition in 2005 and ranked sixth in the world championships for six-year-old dressage horses. Diederik van Silfhout then took over the reins, and competed the stallion up to Light Tour level. In 2013 Rachell Fokker briefly had the ride, before her mother Rineke Fokker leased the stallion to Scotland in 2014. Just last year, the stallion was bought by Marcel van Bruggen and brought back to the Netherlands before leaving again to Sweden last December. Rhodium leaves his mark on the breeding world, with over 1000 offspring registered with the KWPN. He produced two KWPN approved sons, Washington (ds Jetset-D) and Capri Sonne Jr. (ds San Remo). Through Capri Sonne Jr., who is performing so well first under Dinja van Liere and now under Laura Tomlinson, Kaygo (ds Westpoint) was also approved out of Rhodium’s second generation. He also sired Grand Prix horses Azzurro (ds Krack C) and Cupido (ds San Remo).

Michael Jung takes over Julia Krajewski’s Chipmunk FRH

The rumour mill had been working for some time, but now it is official: German eventer Michael Jung has taken over the reins of his compatriot Julia Krajewski’s WEG mount Chipmunk FRH. In 2018, the 11-year-old son of Contendro I participated at the WEG in Tryon under Krajewski and won three 3* events in a row, including Aachen. The contract between breeder and owner Hilmer Meyer-Kulenkampff and the German rider ended in October, and for personal reasons Meyer-Kulenkampff no longer wished to be responsible for such a top horse and decided to sell Chipmunk. The horse was sold in share to the DOKR and Prof. Klaus Fischer, with the breeder retaining a small share. It was a tough decision for Julia Krajewski; “It was very difficult for me. It is sad when a horse you have had since he was young, leaves your stables. Chip was the puppy dog in our stable, so to speak, and I am so proud of how he has grown.” Krajewski still respects the owner’s decision. For various reasons it was not possible to retain Chip for her, but the talented Hanoverian will be retained for the German team with triple Olympic champion Michael Jung taking over the ride. Krajewski had Chipmunk under saddle from the very beginning, making their first international start together in 2014. They won ten of their 30 total starts, including the 3* events in Marbach, Bramham and Aachen just in the past year, bringing them a ticket to Tryon. After Tryon the pair did not compete again. In addition to her 4* horse Samourai du Thot (by Milor Landais) and Amande de B’Neville (by Oscar des Fontaines), Krajewski already has a future successor waiting in the wings; it is Chipmunk’s four-year-old full brother.

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