World of Showjumping
World of ShowjumpingWorld of Showjumping

Legacy – “She brings that magic touch to everything she does”

Tuesday, 26 September 2023
From youngster to international Grand Prix horse

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ “Legacy – there is so much I could say about this horse,” her owner Ariel Grange Somes tells World of Showjumping as we take a look back at the mare’s journey to the top. “There is so much that makes her special.” All photos © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



Over the last five years, the now 13-year-old Zangersheide mare Legacy (Chippendale Z x Bon Ami – breeder Romain Rotty) and Ireland’s Daniel Coyle have formed a great partnership – moving up through the levels from from international young horse classes to jumping at the 2021 European Championships, as well as at the 2022 World Championships. The two have won the CSI4*-W 1.60m Longines FEI Jumping World Cup in Fort Worth, the CSI5* 1.55m MLSJ Grand Prix at Thermal, and the CSI5*-W 1.60m Longines FEI Jumping World Cup in Toronto as well as finishing 10th individually at the 2022 World Championships in Herning. “Legacy – there is so much I could say about this horse,” her owner Ariel Grange Somes tells World of Showjumping as we take a look back at the mare’s journey to the top. “There is so much that makes her special.” 

Chavantale Z 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Legacy was born Chavantele Z, and was produced by Marilyn and Annelies Vorsselmans as well as Marilyn’s partner Jerom Broecks before Ireland's Daniel Coyle took over the reins.

Legacy was born Chavantele Z, and was produced by Marilyn and Annelies Vorsselmans as well as Marilyn’s partner Jerom Broecks. Facinated by her powerful jump, strong type and good character, it was originally Andre Vorsselmans – Marilyn and Annelies’ father – who bought Chavantele from her breeder Romain Rotty when the mare was two. 

“Legacy’s mother Regina D was not so big, but had a lot of blood, so I looked for a bigger stallion with a bit less blood, to compensate her – and that is how we ended up with Chippendale Z,” Romain Rotty, Legacy’s breeder, explains. “From the day she was born, I could see that there was something special in her. I have been breeding horses for 40 years, and to my eyes, from the first look, I thought she would be a good one. Andre Vorsselmans bought her when she was turning three, since I am not in a position to produce the horses to the top; that is why I wanted to sell her. I have always been close to the Vorsselmans-family, so I have followed her progress closely. I have also been in contact with Daniel Coyle, and been to meet them when they have been in Belgium. All my horses are from the same mother-line and at the moment I still have one yearling out of Regina D which I think will be as good as Legacy.” 

“When she was four, we got her used to the saddle and I jumped the Belgian cyclus with her – which is the national young horse series,” Marilyn Vorsselmans tells. “Back then, she was explosive, very careful and always jumped clear – I never had a fault with her. She was brave, but when you came to a show, she was alert and you had to watch out because she was very sensitive. We placed fifth at the Belgian Championship for young horses when she was five, and my partner Jerom placed third with her when she was six. It was always nice to go to a show with her.” 

“She was always thinking forward,” Marilyn continues. “She could be a bit antisocial when it came to other horses, and even with people, but when you got to know her, she was very sweet. After Annelies, she has made a great team with Daniel and it is great to see them now – I follow all the shows they go to. It is nice to see her at the biggest shows, and we are always supporting them. She does it as we know her; she always had a good mind, and she is so powerful that it all looks easy for her. She always does her best and grows with every experience. We still have offspring from her, and I can see her character in them – which is very nice.”  

A fighter in the ring

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. "We really believed in her, but there are so many steps to take; it is a long way from a four-year-old to championship level. However, you could feel that it was all there in her," Annelies Vorsselmans says about Legacy.

Marilyn’s sister Annelies Vorsselmans took over the reins when Legacy was turning seven. “Growing up, she was always special, very flashy, and there was always a lot of interest in her,” Annelies recalls. “I started at the 1* shows with her when she was seven, and she was a clear round machine – like she had been with my sister as well. When you went in the ring with her, it was hard to get a fence down, because she always wanted to stay away from the poles. She was never spooky, she was always going with her ears forward; she had a great attitude from the start. I developed her a bit further in the international sport and rode her in three ranking classes. Then Daniel Coyle, who was training with Jeroen, was looking for a new horse to fill his team. When Daniel tried Legacy with Ariel, they liked her a lot. We had told Daniel about her, said that she might be a horse for him in the future, so he had seen a lot of videos of her already before he came to try her and knew her history very well.” 

“She is really straight forward, and a fighter in the ring,” Annelies tells about Legacy’s character. “She will give a 100%; if it is big or wide, she will never stop, she is so reliable. She always gives her everything, and tries her best to clear the fences. She is a sweet horse, and all the time in a good mood. We really believed in her, but there are so many steps to take; it is a long way from a four-year-old to championship level. However, you could feel that it was all there in her.” 

“It is really nice to follow her now with Daniel, and when they are in Europe, they are stabled with us,” Annelies continues. “My sister and I still call her Chavi, and we follow all her competitions. We have one daughter out of her that is now seven, and my sister has been riding her as well. We are going to build her up, like we did with Legacy. I don’t know if she is going to be as good as Legacy, but it is just nice to have something from her still with us. This seven-year-old is a result of a Christmas gift we gave to our father. In 2015, we gifted him with semen from El Salvador – and in 2016, Evolution AV Z was born out of Legacy. She comes to my stable this fall, just like her mother did.”


Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. “When Legacy first walked out of the stables, she demanded attention, and to this day she does the same," Ariel Grange Somes says.

Ariel Grange Somes, who bought the mare for Daniel Coyle to ride, renamed her Legacy as she was the first horse Ariel bought after her mother sadly passed away – leaving her daughter in charge of the family farm Lothlorien. However, for the Vorsselmans-family, the name carries a special meaning as well. “My father passed away the day that she was sold,” Annelies tells. “He knew that Daniel had tried her, but he never got to know she was sold in the end. On one hand it was nice, because he always wanted to sell her to good people and see her in top sport, but on the other hand that time was extremely sad for us as a family. It is very special to follow her now, because of the whole history. It was my father’s dream to sell her good and see her on top, and in the end, it was done but he never got to experience it.”

Ariel Grange Somes first heard about Legacy at the beginning of 2018 from Jeroen Dubbeldam. “Daniel and I had already slotted time to head overseas to try a few horses and so we added her to our short list of visits between Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland,” she recalls. “When Legacy first walked out of the stables, she demanded attention – and to this day she does the same. She is large but proportionate from her large frame to her slightly too big ears! The trial lasted longer than usual for Daniel and I. We are decisive people and with little time on our hands, we tend not to waste much if we aren't interested or have seen enough, but with Legacy we wanted to test and see what she was made of. No matter what we put in front of her, she did it with ease. I remember we had put her through everything we could think of and I realized the only thing left was a water jump. We thought there had to be something off about her and as we hadn't found anything yet, it had to be the water. However, it was to this day, the greatest water jump and the greatest trial I have ever witnessed. Legacy was young, but had every pre-curser to being an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime mount.” 

“I'm not usually one to keep a name after purchase, choosing to change it for something that represents a deeper meaning to me or the farm itself,” Grange Somes explains about the change of name from Chavantele Z to Legacy. “It didn't take long to decide – maybe the flight home even – that her name would be Legacy. Lothlorien was founded by my mother Susan Grange in the 70s, and when we went to try Legacy in April 2018, team Lothlorien had had a very hard six months. After years of battle my mother had died of cancer in October 2017. Daniel and I walked into WEF 2018 with our heads held high and a point to prove and that winter it was a team effort and some incredible horses – special mention to Cita – who really made the year one to remember for the good things, and Legacy was the topper. So, when it came to the decision that she was the one, it was a simple decision to name her Legacy as that was what she was to me; my legacy for Lothlorien. If I could do nothing else in however many years I have as captain of Lothlorien Farm, Legacy would always remain as a shining star.” 

Always knew she was one of the best

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. “I knew she would get there, Daniel knew she would get there, but we had to be the ones who stood by her and made it happen," Ariel Grange Somes says.

“Though not without our battles and issues, Legacy's rise has really been a game of 'soon',” Grange Somes goes on to tell about the mare’s progress from young horse classes to the top level. “I knew she would get there, Daniel knew she would get there, but we had to be the ones who stood by her and made it happen. Legs – as we call her in the barn – always rose to the challenge and always proved she had what it took to keep going. The triumphs and successes she and Daniel have achieved are proof that she never gave up knowing she was one of the best.”

“The future is looking great for our girl,” Grange Somes concludes. “Starting two years ago at the European Championships in Riesenbeck and everything since then has really changed how the world sees Legacy and put her front and centre in the top end of the sport. The partnership between Daniel and her, and the amazing work of her groom Greg deBie, are key ingredients to make sure she is always in the right place mentally and physically for the task. But it is Legacy that brings that magic touch to everything she does, going that extra inch to jump higher and be faster. We can't take credit for her spirit, but it really takes a team to make a great horse and that is what we have in spades. 'Legs' to her family, 'Dolly' to me, is really something very special and I will stand by the fact that she is – physically and personality-wise – one of the best in the sport.” 

Growing together

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. “She is very in charge of everything,” Daniel Coyle says about Legacy and her character.

“I have learned so, so much from her,” Daniel Coyle says about Legacy. “She is very correct in every way: If you ride well, she is going to jump well and you are going to get a good result. She was only eight when we got her and we hoped she would turn out to be everything, but with horses, you just never really know if they end up coming through. Thankfully, it all came together with Legacy. She took me to my first championships, which were Ariel’s first championships as an owner as well – the Europeans in Riesenbeck. The World Championships in Herning were a first for both of us, too. She has won many Grand Prix classes and it is just an amazing story, from Ariel buying her, wanting a really good horse as her own legacy.” 

“She is very in charge of everything,” Coyle continues to tell about Legacy and her character. “She is a mare and that makes it more normal with her attitude, but even other horses she does not like in her space. She is a little bit special in that way, especially when she is feeling fresh. She is naturally so aware, so it is better for her to be a bit more relaxed and quiet; she jumps better when she is not thinking about everything around her. You don’t find many horses as careful as her, so I will deal with whatever challenges come with it. To me she is one of the most careful horses there is; she really wants to clear the fences.” 

“The first six weeks were the most difficult, figuring out how she wanted to go,” Coyle recalls about the very beginning with Legacy. “It was really good for me to do my first championships with her; a horse that I got a bit younger. I know how she grew up, I know her full story, and when we came to Riesenbeck, I knew what to expect from her – and still do. It is for sure better to have all this experience together before going to these major championships. We have done two championships already and she is still changing. As an older horse, with her experience, she seems to enjoy it a little more all the time. I try to do a few smaller classes in between as well, because when horses are this good, we don’t often make it easy for them, but I try to do that for her, to keep it fun. Going forward, we have a few big Grand Prix classes every year now to aim at – with the likes of Calgary and Aachen. I guess I cannot say that she is for sure going to Paris, but I am certainly looking in that direction. I hope she will be right when the time comes.” 


26.9.2023 No reproduction of any of the content in this article will be accepted without a written permission, all rights reserved © World of If copyright violations occur, a penalty fee will apply. 


This photo has been added to your cart !

Your shopping cart »
This website is using cookies for statistics, site optimization and retargeting purposes. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website. Read more here.