Dutch Grand Prix rider Jeanine Nieuwenhuis has announced that her number 1 in the barn, TC Athene, has been retired from competition sport, effective immediately.
TC Athene is a 16-year old Dutch warmblood gelding by United out of Orleans (by Jazz x Ulft). He is bred by Jan Streppel and owned by Tim Coomans.
Pavo Cup Champion
The tall and impressive chestnut stallion has been successful from the start.
First competed by Jessica Buying, Athene won the 2009 Pavo Cup Finals for 4-year old.
A year later Gerdine Maree took over the ride. They were in the running for Dutch team selection for the 2010 World Young Horse Championships in Verden, but had to pull out of the running due to an injury. In 2011 they were selected on the team and finished 12th in the Finals in Verden.
Double European Champion
In 2015 he was allocated to Dutch junior rider Jeanine Nieuwenhuis. The pair
In 2016 they were selected on the Dutch team and won team silver and double individual gold at the the European Young Riders Championships in Oliva Nova. They also claimed the Dutch Young Riders Champion title that year.
They made the transition to Under 25 Grand Prix level in 2017 and took a few years to grow at Grand Prix level. They rode on the Dutch team at the 2017 European Under 25 Championships in Lamprechtshausen, where they earned team silver and were 9th individually. They won bronze at the 2017 Dutch U25 Championships.
They won the 2018 Dutch Indoor and Outdoor Under 25 title and at the 2018 European Under 25 Championships in Exloo they again collected team silver and placed 10th and 8th in the individual rounds.
In 2019 they were undefeated at the European Under 25 Championships in San Giovanni in Marignona, winning team silver and double individual gold. They also added the 2019 Dutch Indoor and Outdoor U25 Champion's title to their tally.
At the 2020 European Under 25 Championships in Budapest it was triple silver for the pair and scored the Dutch Under 25 Champion's title once more.
A Matter of the Heart
"In the year that The King turns 16 we have decided after careful consideration to retire him for competition sport," Nieuwenhuis stated. "After a routine check by team veterinarian Edwin Enzerink, he got a remark on his heart. It is not life threatening, but to play at top level is too risky."
Jeanine will continue to ride him at home, for fun.
"It certainly is a very difficult decision, but the wellbeing of Athene always comes first," said Jeanine. "He's still in super fine condition and we'll enjoy him at home."
Photos © Astrid Appels
Eurodressage Photo Database: TC Athene
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