Liezel Everars' Junior Horse Vigo Gold NA Passed Away at 2024 CDI Le Mans

Sat, 06/01/2024 - 12:48
Liezel Everars and Vigo Gold NA at the 2024 CDIO Compiegne :: Photo © Astrid Appels

A major blow for Belgian junior rider Liezel Everars. Her horse Vigo Gold NA passed away unexpectedly at the CDI Le Mans on Saturday morning 1 June 2024. 

Viggo Gold NA was a 9-year old Oldenburg gelding by Vitalis out of the late Piet Crum's keur mare Cigranta C (by Jazz x Vincent).  Eugene Reesink is registered as breeder.  


Originally named "Vigo", the chestnut is out of Piet Crum's dam line that also produced Belgian youth team horse Fugranda C (by Sir Donnerhall - ridden by Athaline van Roey). He is a full brother to Italian WCYH participant Venere (Riccardo Sanavio). Grand dam Digranta produced Jacqueline van Grunsven's Grand Prix horse Roemer (by Vincent).

He was presented at the pre-selection for the 2017 Oldenburg Stallion Licensing and picked, but did not appear at the actual licensing. He also participated in the first phase and pre-selection for the 2018 KWPN Stallion Licensing but was not picked.

Vigo in the Brightwells Auction in 2019

Viggo Gold NA

Vigo was part of the collection of 2019 Brightwells auctions in the U.K. held on 3 December 2019 in Addington. He was listed as sold for £18,000 GPB.

Vigo moved into ownership of Belgian Josy Everars who had bought the gelding as a future junior prospect for his pony riding daughter and Belgian pony team member Liezel. They renamed the horse Viggo Gold NA with the suffix NA standing for Josy's Arabian brood farm Nesj Arabians.

With the help of trainer Suraya Hendrickx Vigo was produced to FEI level. She competed him as a 6-year old on the Belgian young horse circuit and in the 2021 Belgian WCYH selection trials and were named second reserve. They were 8th at the 2021 Belgian Young Horse Championships.

Vigo Gold at the 2024 Aachen Festival 4 Dressage
In 2022 Domien Michiels once presented Vigo Gold in one national show at Prix St Georges level before Everars began campaigning him nationally in February 2023.

Liezel and Vigo's international show debut was in June 2023 at the CDI Grote Brogel where she scored a hattrick. From they there went to Waregem and Kronenberg. They finished 11th at the 2023 Belgian Junior Riders Championships.

In 2024 after having won silver at the European Pony Championships, Liezel made the definite transition to horses and junior level as she had reached the age limit. They were in pursuit of scores to be considered for Belgian team selection for the 2024 European Junior Championships in Opglabbeek (BEL) and competed in Lier, Aachen, Compiegne and Le Mans. They were sixth at the 2024 Belgian Junior Riders Championships in Lier a few weeks ago.

Untimely Passing

In the team test at the 2024 CDI Le Mans
On Friday 31 May 2024 Liezel and Vigo Gold competed in their first test at the CDI Le Mans, the team championship test and finished 8th with 66.818%.

On Saturday morning, Liezel took Vigo out for a morning schooling session and after she finished the horse suddenly collapsed. Liezel was fast enough to jump off, but her horse passed.

U.S. team vet Dr Fred Nostrant, who is in Le Mans to assist the American young riders on their euro tour, was ringside and immediately stepped in to resuscitate Vigo, but Vigo unfortunately succumbed to a suspected aortic rupture. 

Our condolences go out to the Everars' family for the tragic loss of their beloved horse.

Photos © Astrid Appels - private

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