After Retirement Announcement, Equestrian Unveils Future Plans for Olympic Equine Icon

Published 12/31/2023, 6:30 AM EST

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The equestrian arena leaves an unbreakable bond between riders and equines, despite all the professionalism. One such bond emerged between a Belgian jockey and an Olympic medal-winning horse. As we bid farewell to an enthralling 2023 season, the 2019 European Champion jockey had to bid farewell to his ‘heart horse’ after sharing nearly a decade-long relationship.

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The duo met when the equine was 2 years old, and now, at the age of 15, she has achieved everything there is to achieve in the equestrian world. Now, the Olympic jockey has revealed the plans for the star equine.

Equestrian jockey reveals plans for favorite horse

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Belgian National show jumping rider Pieter Devos has retired his ‘heart horse’ Claire Z after what has been an incredible career. Now he hopes to provide the 15-year-old with a happy retirement life. “The main priority for me is that she is able to live in happiness and comfort, and that I can see her whenever I’m at home”, he expressed in an interview with Longines Global Champions tour.

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Claire Z had a stellar career. The Olympic medalist unleashed herself in the Longines Global Champions tour and the GCL team series. Apart from providing her a happy life, Pieter also hopes to breed from Claire Z at some point of time. “I hope we may be able to breed from her at some point, as I feel the world could do with more horses like her!”, he added. Regarded as one of Belgium’s most successful horses, it marks the end of her reign in the show jumping arena.

Claire Z’s showjumping heroics

Pieter Devos revealed that Claire Z fulfilled a childhood dream for him, which was winning an Olympic medal, and they did that at the Tokyo Olympics. “She has made a childhood dream come true with an Olympic medal in Tokyo”, he noted. Claire Z won several CSI5* Grand Prixs and recorded numerous Nations Cup triumphs.

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The other big victories on her repertoire include the gold medal at Europeans, Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Miami Beach 2019, and the 2nd place finish at Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Valkenswaard 2021. Along with Pieter, Claire Z recorded prestigious victories in the 2018 FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona and the 2019 European Championships.

Watch this story: Longtime Billion-Dollar Sponsor Ends 40-year-Old Support Of International Equestrian Event

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Written by:

Zahid Rashid Dar

328Articles

One take at a time

I am an avid sports enthusiast who always seeks the thrill in the sporting avenues that serve adrenaline rush to its spectators. Hence, the nooks and crannies of the extreme sports realm such as equestrian sports, bull-riding, and the fast-paced world of rodeo hooked my attention and I became a lifelong fan. Along with this, my versatility spans from crafting insightful content on alpine skiing to exploring various facets of gymnastics.
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Edited by:

BHUJAYA RAY CHOWDHURY

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