D Niro To Be Retired from Sport in Toronto, Westwood Hope for the Future

Fri, 11/02/2018 - 20:46
Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro at the 2017 CDI 5* Wellington :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Jacqueline Brooks will be retiring her number one Grand Prix horse D Niro from sport in a special ceremony at the 2018 Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, Canada, on 6 November 2018. 

D Niro is a 19-year old Swedish warmblood gelding by D-Day out of Alitalia (by Napoleon). He is bred by Christina Almstrom in Sweden.

The grey gelding made her claim to fame in Canada as Jacqueline Brooks' ride. He was initially owned by American April Harris, but in 2011 Jacqueline's mom Mary Brooks acquired the horse for her daughter. 

Brooks and D Niro began competing at international Grand Prix level at the 2011 CDI-W Sauguerties in September 2011 and since then have showed in no less than 167 international Grand Prix classes, consistently showing in Florida and the Canadian internationals like an evergreen.

Their career highlight was representing Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, followed by a start at the 2013 World Cup Finals in Gothenburg.

Brooks and D Niro at the 2012 Olympics
At the beginning of the 2018 Dressage in Florida show circuit, Brooks announced that 2018 would be her horse's last competition year on the 19-year old. They did one more CDI in Ottawa in May and only rode the Grand Prix. They retired from the freestyle after the sound system failed twice.

D Niro's official retirement from sport will now be celebrated in Toronto.  

"Goose and I will be doing our last performance at the Royal Winter Fair," Brooks told Eurodressage. "I’ll be doing a freestyle that bookends his career: the beginning of the Hallelujah Freestyle and the ending of the Sound of Silence Freestyle."

Brooks will not disappear from the Grand Prix scene for long as she has a new ride in the wings: the 11-year old Hanoverian gelding Westwood 5 (by Wolkenstein II x Lauries Crusador xx). 

Westwood was schooled to Grand Prix level by Jessica and Benjamin Werndl. Jessica rode the horse at small tour level at one CDI, the 2015 CDI Kaposvar in Hungary. Now owned by Stone Hill Equestrian, Westwood was being trained by Canadian born American Ashley Holzer, Jacqueline's long-time coach.

Jacquie with new ride Westwood
"Going forward I’m excited about securing the ride on Westwood 5 looking towards Tokyo," said Jacquie. "I'm looking forward to an exciting future. I’ll start him in the nationals (in Florida) and hope to move to the CDI's mid season."

Photos © Astrid Appels - private

Related Links
Eurodressage Photo Database: D Niro
Jacqueline Brooks and Jaimey Irwin, North American League Representatives at the 2013 World Cup Finals
Brooks Makes Magic Happen on Freestyle Night at 2012 CDI-W Devon
Catching Up with Canadian Olympian Jacqueline Brooks
Canadian Team Selected for 2012 Olympic Games
British and Canadian Olympic Team Riders Present at 2012 CDI Hartpury
Brooks and D-Niro Top it Off with a Win on Sunday at 2011 CDI Devon