Goodbye Pommeau du Heup
Niels Bruynseels’ former groom, Jana Bannister, announced the death of the Selle Français stallion Pommeau du Heup at the age of 18 through her social media. This son of Helios de la Cour allowed the Belgian rider to compete in his first performances in Nations Cup at the highest level. "Horses like you will always live on in the hearts of the grooms who were lucky to be a part of your career," posted Jana Bannister.
Born in Normandy at Hubert Groualle's Sunheup stables, the chestnut was noticed by Joris van Dijck during the qualifying rounds of the French Championship for 3-year-olds, which he then won. His first steps on the international scene were made with Belgian riders Yves Vanderhasselt and Marc Van Dijck, before crossing paths with Niels Bruynseels in 2013, with whom he hit the spotlight. The pair achieved a double clear result in the Nations Cups in Rome and Lummen, winning gold and third place in the latter's Grand Prix before competing at the European Championships in Aachen in 2015. The stallion then competed under Asian colors with Franco-Chinese rider Daniel Zhiwen-zao Chiu, with whom he competed in the World Cup in Gothenburg in 2016. After being ridden by many different riders, Pommeau du Heup ended his career with Chinese rider Kenneth Cheng, who gave him his retirement from sport in 2018.
Photo credit: Sportfot.com