Emerald van 't Ruytershof retires from the sport
Stallion show Eurohorse - Axel Verlooy
Yesterday in Grobbendonk everyone was invited to Emerald's Valentine Party, also known as the Stallion Show of Eurohorse by Axel Verlooy. Where stallion shows usually last four hours with stallions jumping over big obstacles, Axel opted for a different approach. In a cozy, warm tent, the stallions were shown in hand, one by one, guided with excellent advice of Louis De Cleene. De Cleene started the evening with the joyful news that Dulf van den Bisschop (Heartbreaker x Libero H) will be available again for breeding in Europe via frozen semen. Then it was Kentucky van het Ruytershof 's turn to welcome the crowd. This son of For Pleasure comes out of the full sister of Emerald van 't Ruytershof, namely none other than Diamanthina van 't Ruytershof who herself was also active at the highest level. Kentucky was followed by Caracas (Casall ASK x Colman) who showed him in its best light. Last year, Caracas jumped to victory in the CSIO5* Grand Prix and Nations Cup of Rotterdam and obtained many more placings under the saddle of Jos Verlooy. After Caracas it was time for Nixon van het Meulenhof . Under the saddle of occasional rider Harrie Smolders, this stallion managed to convince every horse lover last year after a fantastic round in Sentower Park. One month later, the son of Denzel van 't Meulenhof, and also half brother of Emerald, became champion of the 5-year-old stallions in the PAVO Stallion Competition under the saddle of Jeroen De Winter. Then it was time for Don VHP Z . This son of Diamant de Semilly already jumped to an impressive list of achievements including silver at the European Championships in Göteborg in 2017. Last year, Don and Harrie won the CSI5* Grand Prix of Hamburg and were placed 3rd in the World Cup of Mechelen. Finally, it was the turn of the host of the evening, none other than the 15-year-old Emerald van 't Ruytershof (Diamant de Semilly x Carthago Z). The breeding product of Bert van den Branden started his carreer as a 4-year old under the saddle of Kurt Declercq while he was stabled at Joris de Brabander. As a 6-year-old the stallion was tipped to Axel Verlooy, who after 10 jumps with Harrie Smolders, already knew that he was a very special one. The duo started their international career with a silver medal at the World Championship for 6-year old horses and since then the good results have continued! He won his first Grand Prix as a 9-year-old during CSI2* Vilamoura in the spring of 2013 and a few weeks later he also won the CSI3* GP in Lanaken. In that same year he won the first Nations Cups in which he participated with the Dutch team, namely in Aachen and Gijon. Two years later, in 2015, Harrie & Emerald won the World Cup of Washington in America. In 2017 they claimed first place in the GCT Grand Prix of Chantilly while they were also victorious in the five-star Grand Prix of Bordeaux at the beginning of last year. If all these performances are not special enough, the stallion was also a finalist at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (2016), while he won a silver medal that same year at the World Cup final in Goteborg. A visibly emotional Harrie Smolders also told us a few words about 'his' Emerald: "Emerald knew how to convince me and Axel from the beginning. We try a hundred horses every year, but almost always there are some question marks: "Does he have enough scope? Will he be handy enough? Careful enough? ... " With Emerald we knew it from the beginning. He was always so intelligent that we could just enjoy him instead of speculating about his qualities. Emerald could have easily jumped two more years in the sport," Harrie continued. "He brought me and Eurohorse to the number one in the world. But we have the feeling that in the last two years as a stallion he is surpassing his sportive career... That is why we want to give him the chance to retire after a wonderful career, so that he can also become the number one stallion in the world! " That he has already proven his qualities as a stallion is clear from the impressive list of offspring at the highest level: Igor (ds. Nabab de Reve), Sea Coast Kira (ds. Querlybet Hero), Jeunesse van 't Paradijs (ds. Heartbreaker ), Imerald van 't Voorhof (ds. Bacardi Orange de Muze), Jaguar vd Berghoeve (ds. Nabab de Reve), Ibbo van' t Keldertje (ds. Nabab de Reve), S & L Cocodrille (ds. Kashmir van Schuttershof), Iluna (ds. Darco) and Ictus d'Emma (ds. VDL Corland). After the presentation there was a nice party with delicious fries, tasty drinks and the possibility to view the stallions in the barn. In short, an ideal evening for the breeders!