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Etoile van de Neerheide Z to Cian O’Connor

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Photo © Pegasus Photo Etoile van de Neerheide Z with Dieter Vermeiren. Photo © Pegasus Photo.


Text © World of Showjumping



Cian O’Connor has acquired the talented 8-year-old stallion Etoile van de Neerheide Z (Emerald van’t Ruytersshof x Quannan R – breeder Eric Van Giel). Produced and brought up through the classes by Belgium’s Dieter Vermeiren, the stallion recently made his debut at 1.45m level and quickly caught the eye of O’Connor. 

“I was so impressed with how this incredible stallion tried for me this week,” O’Connor comments to World of Showjumping. “He is obviously very well produced by Dieter and the feeling he gave me on the jump was exceptional. Like any horse we buy we always dream a little and no one can predict the future, but I feel that you always have a chance when you start off with the right ingredients!”

Etoile van de Neerheide Z has been in his former owner Ludo Tielen’s stable since he was four months old and has been carefully produced towards top level. “I owned 50% of his mother – Deja vu van de Neerheide – but purchased the remaining half of her from my companion, together with Etoile,” Tielen tells World of Showjumping. “My son started Etoile up, while Wim Vinckx presented him at the stallion competition. When Wim left our stable, Dieter continued to ride Etoile – with success. We built Etoile up slowly, not to rush him. The last year, he was doing more international shows and if you see the results it’s quite unique – he only made a few mistakes in a whole year. Dieter has done a very good job with the horse, and it’s of course tough for him to lose him.”

“There was already a lot of interest in Etoile when he was five and jumped at the Belgian Championships,” Tielen explains. “However, we were so sure that this was an exceptional horse, so we kept him as long as possible. I think with Cian, Etoile has a great future in front of him. The sale is also good exposure for our stable as well as for Dieter as a young rider. Hopefully, we get to see Etoile with Cian in Paris in three years.”

“We have a two-year-old full-brother to Etoile in our stable called Easy Fit R Z, and we also have another seven offspring from his mother, so the story continues,” Tielen tells. “Deja Vu now jumps at 1.45m level with Dieter, but we keep on breeding with her when we can.”

“I have been riding Etoile since he was five,” Vermeiren tells World of Showjumping. “I am young, but when I rode him for the first time, I immediately felt that this horse was something special. I have been so happy that the owners gave me the chance to ride such an amazing horse. We did a lot together and we grew together. We placed second in the Belgian Championships for 7-year-old horses, and last weekend we did our first three-star show where he jumped three amazing clear rounds. It could not be better, to see him going to such a great rider as Cian – I believe they will do big things together and are a combination for the future. The biggest compliment I could imagine was to hear Cian say he was impressed with the stallion’s rideability when he first tried him, and that I have done a good job with him.” 


Watch Etoile van de Neerheide Z jump with Cian O'Connor

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