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From youngster to international Grand Prix horse: Fit For Fun 13

Saturday, 21 November 2020
From youngster to international Grand Prix horse

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. The exceptional mare Fit For Fun 13, that has been Luciana Diniz’s top horse over the last years, doesn’t need much of an introduction – she has done it all! Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

 

Text © World of Showjumping

 


 

The exceptional mare Fit For Fun 13 (For Pleasure x Fabriano – bred by Sigrid Crome-Sperling), that has been Luciana Diniz’s top horse over the last years, doesn’t need much of an introduction – she has done it all: The Olympic Games, the World Equestrian Games, the European Championships, the Longines FEI World Cup Finals and the Longines FEI Nations Cup Finals, as well as winning five-star Grand Prix classes in Al Rayyan, Basel, Doha. St. Gallen and Rotterdam. 

To find out how Fit For Fun – or Fitti as she is nicknamed – was as a youngster, WoSJ had a talk with her owner Ralf Jünger. “I bought Fit For Fun as a foal, just as she was parted from her mother. I bought a package of six foals and she was among them,” Jünger explains. “Fitti stood out from the beginning. We let her jump over a pole, and it was like ‘Wow, she knows what she is doing’. During her youngster years we let her free-jump once in a while and she always jumped to a 10.0.”

In 2007, when Fitti was 3 years old, she did the test for mares in Germany. “At that time, she was in foal to Canturo and we really hadn’t been riding her much. However, at the test she received 2 x 10.0 points for her free jumping and then I rode her in the dressage test. She ended up with an average of 8.25 points.”

Photo © private collection “Fitti stood out from the beginning," her owner Ralf Jünger tells. Photo © private collection.

When her first foal Camargo was born in 2008, Fitti was awarded with a ‘Stadspremie’ – the highest grade a breeding mare can receive in Germany. “The whole family consists of mares with ‘Stadspremie,’” Jünger says.

“Already back then, I knew that Fitti was something very special – so I really wanted to have a filly out of her. Since Camargo was a colt, I covered her again and this time with Torben Köhlbrandt’s stallion C-Trenton Z. The reason why I chose this big Holsteiner was that Camargo was really small as a foal. In the end, Camargo ended up at 1.70m and the foal out of C-Trenton Z – that was also a colt – got way too big,” Jünger laughs. 

Camargo is still owned by Jünger and is active both in breeding and sport. “In 2018, he won a 1.60m class with Luciana at Spruce Meadows and was second in Chantilly,” Jünger tells. “The foals by Camargo get more bloody than him, probably because of Fit For Fun and his offspring are jumping amazing.”

Photo © private collection "Fitti was always something special, and she was well aware of that,” Jünger tells. Photo © private collection.

“Fitti always had her own head and a huge confidence. She wanted things her way, but was still very sweet. Fitti was always something special, and she was well aware of that,” Jünger tells. “She was a princess and wanted to be treated like one. Fitti has always been amazing to handle though, she is a real family horse – and she loves bananas!”

“When she was young, Fitti could be quite spooky – but only because she is so careful. She needed to take a look at everything once, before she understood that it wasn’t dangerous. So, at the first shows she did, she would refuse or run past the fences that she though were scary. I have never had a horse as careful as her though. As a youngster she always jumped too high and way too far over the fences,” Jünger says about the early years with Fitti. 

It was as a 6-year-old that Fitti did her first show, and already the year after she made her international debut. “I rode her myself back then and our highlight was the international youngster tour in Hachenburg. We had the last one down in the final, however several potential buyers contacted me after that. I never wanted to sell her though, since I wanted to use her for breeding after her sports career,” Jünger explains. 

Photo © private collection As a 6-year-old, Fitti did her first show and already the year after she made her international debut. “I rode her myself back then and our highlight was the international youngster tour in Hachenburg," Jünger tells. Photo © private collection.

“When I wanted to do some international competitions with her as an 8-year-old back in 2012, it was really difficult to get into the shows. I thought it was a pity for Fitti to do the national shows with me, when she had so much more potential. During that time, I met Luciana. I told her that I didn’t want to sell so we found a solution and made a long-term contract for the competing rights. This way, Fitti would get back to me when she was done with her sports career.”

After that it all went fast. “Fitti went to Luciana on a Tuesday, and on Friday she competed in Rotterdam. Shortly after she did the youngster tour in Aachen,” Jünger tells. 

“I love Fitti, so I didn’t just want to sell her to anyone with no idea about what would happen to her in the future. I’m very happy that I found this solution with Luciana. I know Fitti is in the best hands with Luciana, and that she will come back to me for breeding when she’s finished competing,” Jünger says. 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping Fit For Fun and Luciana Diniz at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

Jünger admits that he has received several huge offers on Fit For Fun, but he was never tempted to accept any of them. “I’m very satisfied with the deal I made with Luciana. I always kept my word. Luciana and Fit For Fun is a dream combination, and we could never have found a better match!”

During the Covid-19 show break, Fit For Fun left two embryos – one by Verdi and one by Eldorado vd Zeshoek. “During the time we took the embryos, Fitti got a break. Now she is being ridden again and will be back competing in the spring.”

As to the now 16-year-old Fit For Fun’s future, Jünger says: “Well, we had our eyes set on the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year and the plan was to retire her after that. Now things have changed, so Fitti will get back in the sport and be retired at the right moment next year. She will be 17 then, so only the future can tell if she will make it to another Olympics or not. We will listen to her and let her decide if she wants to go. Fit For Fun has already showed everyone what she can do, so there is no need for her to prove anything more. Of course, it would be a dream with a medal in Tokyo and then retire her after – but if not, we are still just as happy with her!”

 

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