Vivant van de Heffinck Photo: Ros Neave

AUSTRALIA (by Christopher Hector) The brilliant stallion Vivant/ex Vivant van de Heffinck (Fuego du Prelet [SF] - Scalini van de Heffinck [BWP] x Landino [Holst]) has been retired from competition following an extremely successful career. Born in 1998, the 18- year-old grandson of Jalisco B (Almé) was approved as a sire by several studbooks, including being recognized as an ambassador for Belgian Warmblood.

Vivant’s best results began with seventh place in the 2010 World Cup Final in Geneva with Chris Chugg (AUS), seventh that same year at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, an Olympic appearance in London 2012 under the saddle of Katharina Offel (UKR), then ninth at the 2014 WEG in Caen and 26th at the 2015 European Championships in Aachen with Cassio Rivetti (UKR). All this after a career in Australia that saw Chugg and the stallion, dominate the World Cup circuit…

I asked Helen Chugg, who found the colt in Belgium, if she had the faintest inkling that she was looking at a horse that would change the course of Australian showjumping, and then go on and star at the highest level in Europe… “Of course I did, absolutely! (She is laughing.) In reality, what you hope to find is a nice young colt that would be good for Australian showjumping. Whether the stars were aligned, whether it was sheer luck, for whatever reason, he was the first colt we looked at. I think we were very lucky in that it was the year when foot and mouth had broken out, so Europe was basically closed down. I think that probably helped us in that things were very quiet, the first round of the stallion classification had been done, but not the second round. I think we probably got to see some colts that probably would not have been shown to us.

“Anyway, he was the first horse we looked at on our trip, he was led out and, honestly, he stood up, he looked at me, and that was it, I was it. I said, ‘wow’, this is exactly what I wanted to find – an elegant horse of a good medium height that looks like a Thoroughbred (54.88%) but obviously with Warmblood characteristics. I knew in my mind exactly what sort of a colt I wanted to buy, and he absolutely filled the bill.”

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