Danielle Heijkoop's Siro Retired from Sport

Fri, 06/30/2017 - 14:24
Dutch Dressage News

Danielle Heijkoop has announced the retirement from sport of her 18-year old Grand Prix horse Siro, with whom she was member of the Dutch team at the 2013 European Championships in Herning.

Siro is a Dutch warblood gelding by Gribaldi out of Lady (by Hemmingway). He is bred by H. Geurts and listed in the FEI database as owned by Heijkoop, Anky van Grunsven, and J. van Verseveld. 

Heijkoop acquired Siro as a 4-year old and the pair was trained up to Under 25 Grand Prix level by Coby van Baalen. Danielle switched to Anky van Grunsven as trainer before making her big break through at international Grand Prix level.

In the spring of 2012 the pair competed in the international Under 25 division and at the 2012 CDIO Rotterdam they made the transition to senior Grand Prix. The black gelding stood out with his incredibly rhythmical piaffe and passage. 

2013 was their magic year. They showed at the CDI 's Hertogenbosch, CDIO Rotterdam and Aachen and then made it on the Dutch team for the 2013 European Championships in Herning, where they were 13th in the Kur to Music Finals. In the winter of 2013 they had a successful tour at the World Cup qualifiers in Odense, London, Den Bosch and at the 2014 World Cup Finals were they were fourth

As of the summer of 2014 Siro began struggling with recurrent injuries and missed out on team selection for the World Equestrian Games. They were back for the winter circuit, but in the spring of 2015 the horse was injured again and missed the 2015 European Championships in Aachen. With only two CDI's in 2016 (Roosendaal, Rotterdam), they did not make it on the team for the 2016 Olympics. 

Now aged 18, Siro competed in Nieuw en St. Joosland in April and Rotterdam last week. It turned out to be his last show. They were second in the 3* Grand Prix Kur. 

"A glorious goodbye for a horse I owe everything to," said Heijkoop. "Siro has always given his all his entire career. He always went for it 200%. He might not be the prettiest horse, and he definitely required a manual but he never stood me up. I owe my sportive successes in large to him. A second place in my home town was a nice finish to our 14-year collaboration. It wasn't an easy decision. A horse like Siro is a once-in-a-lifetime hose, so that is why I want to give him a retirement now that he is fit."

Photos © Astrid Appels

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