We might be well on the way into the New Year, but a certain gift that was given during Christmas-time needs to be looked back at – because this is the stuff that dreams are made of!
The Christmas of 2016 will be one that Tiina Tuunanen from Finland is always going to remember; she got the most precious gift she could ever ask for. On the 18th of December, Tiina got a phone call from her former boss Stephan Conter saying: “Merry Christmas Tiina, now it is time for you to come and take your horse home.”
With ‘the horse’ Stephan meant Talent – the little fighter of a horse that the Finnish rider Nina Fageström competed with many successes during her time working at Stephex Stables from 2008 to 2012. Tiina worked as Nina’s groom and Talent was the horse of a life time for her. “No one believed in him at first, but somehow we made it all work. He performed way over his ability, because he has such a huge heart. He is absolutely the one for me,” Tiina tells about the gelding that stole her heart.
The season of 2011 was the best for the team. They placed 4th in the World Cup in Helsinki and came 8th in the Grand Prix there the same weekend.
The now 17-year-old Talent will spend his retirement days in Finland with his old groom, who now works as a nurse. “I am not allowed to sell him and I must send a picture of him every month to show that he is doing fine,” Tiina smiles about the conditions laid down by Conter. “I am incredibly happy and very thankful – I can hardly believe that Stephan really did this. But Talent is here now – so I have to believe it and just say thank you to Stephan!”
Text © World of Showjumping // Pictures © Jenny Abrahamsson and private collection
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