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From youngster to international Grand Prix horse: Gancia de Muze

Saturday, 11 April 2020
Interview

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping
“Gancia’s jump and her quality were her biggest assets,” Walter Lelie tells about Gancia de Muze as a young horse. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

 

Text © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen

 


 

Niels Bruynseels’ Gancia de Muze (Malito de Reve x Nimmerdor) is known for being fast and feisty. With Bruynseels in the saddle, this little mare has impressed again and again – recording five-star Grand Prix victories in Brussels, Cannes, Knokke and s’Hertogenbosch.

A winner through and through, World of Showjumping looks back on the 14-year-old mare’s journey to the top – with both her former riders Walter Lelie and Wilm Vermeir revealing that as a youngster Gancia was close to being labeled ‘too hard to handle’.

“I bought Gancia when she was 4-years-old,” Walter Lelie tells. “She was always special, but so was her quality. In my opinion, she was very good from the beginning. As a 5-year-old she had a foal, that was one of the reasons she was running a bit behind compared to other horses her age. I liked her very much, but due to my business I also have to sell and sometimes you end up selling the best ones. Gancia has been sold three times in her life; from me to Yves Thornet, from Thornet to Wilm Vermeir who then sold her to his owners.”

“Gancia’s jump and her quality were her biggest assets,” Lelie tells. “There were things she didn’t like though, and those things you simply did not do – she was stubborn in that way,” Lelie continues. “I called her Miss Gancia; she did what she wanted. But when they come as good as her, you just have to accept that.”

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping
"Some thought she was too crazy to ride," Gancia de Muze's former rider Wilm Vermeir tells about the now 14-year-old mare. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“Gancia had just turned five, when Yves Thornet came to take lesson at my place,” Wilm Vermeir continues on the mare’s story. “He told me about a young mare he had, and how much trouble he had with her. However, he also mentioned that even though she was extremely difficult, the quality in her was unbelievable. So I told him to bring the mare to my place so I could try her. For her age she was really green at the time. Nevertheless, I really liked her, so I bought her and that is how it started.”

“As a personality, she is a real mare,” Vermeir explains. “She was so difficult when she was young, that some thought she was too crazy to ride. However, when I took her over the results were incredibly good from the beginning. Maybe because I did not know all the details of her history – of her being really difficult to handle – I was not scared of her.”

“She has so much blood,” Vermeir continues. “A dressage horse she has never been, but the unbelievable thing about her is that even though she is crazy, you can trust her in the ring. She sees the distances herself; you can just leave her alone in front of the fence. Why it worked so well with her and me, might be because of the fact that I really like hot horses. Many dealers tried her before me, but they did not like her. From a commercial point of view, I understand that. I think back then she would have been nearly impossible to sell on due to her character. But as a rider, when I sat on her, I knew that when she went in the ring she would not touch the poles – and she was unbelievably fast. The way she is now, she has been from the start. You did not need to teach her to jump. However, when you jumped a small 1.20m course with her, you could not really see the scope she had – this is maybe why some might have had doubts about her scope.”

“After some time, I sold her to my owners – with the thought that she would stay at my place and be for me to ride,” Vermeir recalls. “However, shortly after the sale she got injured and needed a long break. When she was supposed to come back, the owners gave her to Niels Bruynseels to ride. I would have never sold her, if I knew I would end up losing her. However, Niels is a good friend and I am happy to see them go so well together. Niels takes her as she is, and I am proud to be a small part of Gancia’s incredible story.”

 

No reproduction without permission, copyright © World of Showjumping

 



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