Belgian Team Pony Balotelli Retained for Belgium

Thu, 01/18/2024 - 09:00
Anna Peeters on Balotelli at the 2022 CDI Opglabbeek :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Anna Peeters' Belgian team pony Balotelli has been retained for Belgium and moved on to a new rider. The 12-year old Margaux Nelis took over the reins. 

Balotelli is a 14-year old Hanoverian bred pony stallion by Benetton S out of Just a Nice Girl HS (by Sweet Dream SF x Burlington S). He is bred by ZG Seefeld-Müller. 

German Beginnings

The dark bay stallion first came into the spotlight in 2012 when he was presented and approved at the Hanoverian Pony Stallion Licensing in Verden. 

He did not do a stallion performance test and there are no offspring registered with the German equestrian federation. 

Listed as owned by Marc Höcker, he was first competed by Simone Höcker von Roit in June 2013 in Nienburg. He finished third at the 2013 Hanoverian Young Pony Championships in Hannover. A year later he captured silver at those championshisp

Bo van Nimwegen

Balotelli sold to The Netherlands and resurfaced in 2015. He was registered as owned by Bo van Nimwegen at the time.

Van Nimwegen and Balotelli at the 2016 Hippiade
He was competed under the name Balotelli H and later as "Balotelli High Pleasure"  in national pony classes between 2015 and 2018. She trained with Ingrid Gerritsen at the time. The pair was champion at the 2015 Dutch Outdoor Championships at L1 level, they were reserve champion at the 2017 Dutch Indoor Championships at M2 level and finished 15th at the 2018 Dutch Outdoor Championships at FEI pony level.

Anna Peeters

The pony then sold to the Belgian show jumping family of James Peeters, whose daughter Anna has a keen interest in dressage and trains with Wim Verwimp. 

The pair made its international show debut at the 2021 CDI Sint-Truiden and ended competing in 53 CDI classes in their career together. In 2021 they gained experience at CDI's in Opglabbeek, Grote-Brogel, Sint-Truiden, Zandhoven, and Aachen Indoor. In 2022 they went to Lier, Opglabbeek, Sint-Truiden, Compiegne, and Meerle and qualified on the Belgian team the first time for the 2022 European Championships in Strzegom, where they finished 42nd with 67.487% in the individual test

With Anna at the 2023 CDIO Compiegne
In 2023, Peeters also began competing her junior rider's horse Harlekin, but her partnership with Balotelli improved and scores climbed. In her last year on ponies, she chose and got selected to ride the 2023 European Pony Championships in Le Mans, where they won team bronze and finished 21st with 69.513% in the individual test. 

At the Belgian Pony Championships they won bronze in 2021 and 2022, and silver in 2023

Margaux Nelis

Balotelli has now been sold as an FEI pony schoolmaster for 12-year old Margaux Nelis, a student of Belgian Grand Prix rider Delphine Meiresonne. 

Nelis has already been gaining experience on FEI pony Dragon Ball de Mel, an 11-year old French bred pony by Aron N x Kiss Me de Villee, which was internationally competed by French Fleur Weijkamp in 2021 and 2022. 

Peeters will continue at junior level with Harlekin (by Chinook x Don Gregory) in 2024 and has the home bred, 6-year old Belgian warmblood mare Sumatra A.H. (by Secret x Sir Donnerhall) coming along. The mare is bred by Paul Peeters and currently being trained and competed by Sakina Van Dijck. 

Photos © Astrid Appels - Digishots

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