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That Special Bond – with Morgane Tresch: “Zenith is like a big child with a lot of character"

Friday, 09 April 2021
That Special Bond

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. "He came to the stable when he was seven, won double gold at the World Equestrian Games in Caen when he was ten, was on the winning team at the FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona the same year and the year after he won the individual gold at the European Championships in Aachen," Morgane says about Zenith. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

 

Text © World of Showjumping

 


 

We continue our popular series ‘That Special Bond’, and this time we speak with Jeroen Dubbeldam’s long-time groom Morgane Tresch who earlier in her career worked for Judy-Ann Melchior. For Morgane, it is a very famous championship horse that both was the hardest to get to know and that occupies a special place in her heart.  

The Special One

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. "To do three championships in three years is a lot, and then to do them so successfully is really impressive!" Morgane says about Zenith. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“SFN Zenith is really the special one for me,” Morgane starts. “He is like a big child, and has a lot of character and personality. When there was something he didn’t want to do, you could not force him – it was just to give him time and try again later. In the beginning I had to work hard to get to know him, because he is really special. However, once he trusted me, I could do anything with him. Even though Zenith is now retired, we still have a great connection: He is the first one to call for me whenever he hears my voice or my footsteps. We can get home from a show in the middle of the night and he always welcomes me."

"Zenith got retired at The Dutch Masters in Den Bosch in 2019 and it was very emotional," Morgane continues. "Already when Jeroen called me to let me know about the decision, I got tears in my eyes and then followed six very emotional weeks. It is always sad to retire a horse, but it is nice to do it at the right time – Zenith was still healthy and had already proven everything. He came to the stable when he was seven, won double gold at the World Equestrian Games in Caen when he was ten, was on the winning team at the FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona the same year and the year after he won the individual gold at the European Championships in Aachen. At the Olympics in Rio, it was just a time fault that stopped him from the jump-off. To do three championships in three years is a lot, and then to do them so successfully is really impressive!"

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. "It was all in all an exceptional weekend and I still feel the same I felt back then when I watch the retirement video today," Morgane tells about Zenith's retirement ceremony in Den Bosch. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

"When we got to Den Bosch for his retirement, I was happy to have Zenith with me for one last show," Morgane says. "It was a bit strange though, to go to the vet-check and show the stewards the passport and then not have to trot up. It was all in all an exceptional weekend and I still feel the same I felt back then when I watch the retirement video today. I get tears in my eyes and goose bumps on my skin – especially at the point when the Showjumping Fund of the Netherlands gave Zenith to Jeroen. Just that he can stay with us is fantastic! I miss to have him with me at the shows, but I still take him out for a walk, or go grassing with him, whenever I can.” 

Missing the Most

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. "I miss her because she gave so much," Morgane says about As Cold As Ice Z. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“The one I miss the most is As Cold As Ice Z, from the time I worked for Judy," Morgane tells. "I miss her because she gave so much. She always knew when it was important – when it was a Nations Cup or a Grand Prix, she would do anything to deliver a clear round."

"In 2019, I was in Lanaken for a show and I knew As Cold As Ice was out on the field so I went there to say hi. She was out with other breeding mares and foals, but when I called for her she came running to look for cookies. When I got that reaction, I felt I must have done something right for her and it was fantastic.” 

Hardest to Get to Know

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. "In the beginning I had to work hard to get to know him, because he is really special," Morgane explains about Zenith. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“Zenith was the hardest to get to know. In the beginning I could not tell if he was in a good or bad mood and it really took time to understand him. I asked the old grooms for advice and one of them told me that what worked with her might not work for me, so I needed to find my own way with him. I really took that to my heart and spent a lot of time trying to figure him out. I spoiled him a lot with cookies and hoped that it would be a way for us to connect. It actually worked and he was really spoiled, that’s for sure!" Morgane tells. 

"Zenith is a really special horse and I had to be very quiet around him and take my time. If he had his ears back when I opened the stable door in the morning, it was definitely the wrong day to clip him or ask him for more than just the essentials. The rest could better wait for another day," Morgane smiles.

"Zenith could be a lion, especially at shows, while in other moments he could be so sweet and gentle. I still remember one show where he had his stable door open and a little girl in a wheelchair rolled straight up to him. I got a bit stressed since I didn’t know how he would react, but Zenith put his head in the arms of the girl and was the sweetest," Morgane tells. 

"Zenith is still really special and to get him in from the field is not always easy. One day you might need a cookie to get him in, another day a cookie isn’t enough and you need a carrot – other days you have to wait for two hours before you can catch him. Zenith is very clear with what he wants – if he wants to come in from the field, he wants to get in right there and then. Other days he is in a playful mood and then he pretends he wants to get in, but at the same time he won’t let you catch him. Even now at his age, he is still acting like a youngster,” Morgane closes off.

 

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