According to the equestrian website Horses of the Dutch, Karen Nijvelt had to put down her Grand Prix horse Heyu last week. The 17-year old KWPN bred Heyu (by Woldstreek out of Udiana) suffered from navicular and foundered.
"First you think it's the feed or medicine that caused this, so we pulled him out of the field straight away and put him on a diet of hay and carrots, but nothing could break the cycle. We don't really know the exact cause why he foundered," Nijvelt told Horses of the Dutch. "He was actually still in top shape and I wanted to compete him this year, but then this happened and I would have been happy if I could have just kept him in the field. He was the leader of the pack for years and he deserved a good retirement. But fate decided otherwise," Nijvelt added.
Nijvelt got the ride over Heyu when Penny Rockx-Zavitz became pregnant and could no longer ride. Penny and her husband Johan Rockx trained Heyu to Grand Prix level and Penny competed him the small tour. In 2001, Nijvelt rode her first Grand Prix with Heyu in Eindhoven.
Nijvelt and Heyu's career highlight was a second place in the Kur to Music at the CDI-W Ksiaz in Poland. Karen still has the 12-year old Grand Prix horses Mabruk (by Hemmingway) and Maestro (by Contango).