This week, it became official; Ninja La Silla – Rolf-Göran Bengtsson’s faithful and medal winning ride – will retire. Here’s our tribute to one of the sport’s best horses over the past eight years. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.
Thanks Ninja; you gave us some amazing moments that we will never forget! Rolf and Ninja La Silla has been a pair since 2006, and can look back on a fantastic record of results!Ninja has jumped at six championships; the World Equestrian Games in Aachen in 2006, the Europeans in Mannheim in 2007, the Olympic Games in Hong Kong in 2008, the Europeans at Windsor in 2009, the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010 and at the Europeans in Madrid in 2011. The KWPN gelding was bred at Stoeterij van Uitert-Huijsmans in Esbeek, the Netherlands. The name of Ninja’s mother was Olympica. Fittingly she bred a true champion!In 2012 Ninja won a five star 1.50 class in Leipzig – and also his first car!The chestnut gelding has picked up two medals; gold at the Europeans in Madrid and silver at the Olympics in Hong Kong.Ninja and his groom Celia Rijntjes, who has groomed for Rolf-Goran Bengtsson for 13 years and taken fantastic care of the now 18 year old gelding.In 2011 Ninja was crowned Horse of the Year in Sweden after a fantastic year with Rolf.Ninja is used to stading ovations from the crowds! In 2012 he made what was to be his last appearance on a Swedish team, and with style! At the age of 17 he was on the winning Swedish team in the Top League Nations Cup on home soil in Falsterbo.Jumping to victory in Madrid - a little piece of history that never will be forgotten by the WoSJ-team!Not only successful, but also beautiful! In April the Swedish crowds get the chance thank Ninja La Silla off during a retirement cermony at Gothenburg Horse Show.Not only did Ninja become a European Champion in Madrid and an Olympic Vice Champion in Hong Kong, he was also joint winner of the final leg at the European Championships at Windsor – and placed 7th individually. At the WEG in Kentucky he was 6th individually, and joint winner of the second qualifying competition.In the spotlight in Madrid! Now Ninja can look forward to enjoying a quiet life in the fields at the La Silla Stud in Mexico.This team gave us unforgettable moments, and brought tears to our eyes. This is how he will be remembered; as a true winner in the evening sun that late Sunday afternoon in Madrid.Thanks Ninja, thanks Rolf - you were amazing together!