Monday, July 18, 2011

End of an Era...

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum retires
the great Shutterfly at CHIO Aachen.
Photo courtesy of Jenny Abrahamsson.
On Sunday, July 17th, 2011 arguably one of the greatest eras in international show jumping was brought to an end with the retirement of the incomparable Shutterfly.  Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum decided to retire her 18 year old super-gelding after he won the 1.55 meter Warsteiner Prize at the CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival while he was on top, rather than chance a lesser ending by competing in the Grand Prix with her elder statesman.

Meredith and her husband Markus decided that there was no better way to retire "Petey" than in the grandeur of the Aachen venue, often called the equestrian Mecca, where so many of his greatest moments took place.  The official ceremony took place right before the jump off of the Grand Prix, and from all accounts, there was not a dry eye in the house.

Some of Shutterfly's many highlights:
3 FEI Rolex World Cup Championships
Individual and Team Bronze medals at the 2006 World Equestrian Games
Individual Gold/Team Silver at 2007 European Championships
Team Gold medal at the 2005 Europeans
Silver Medal at the 2004 World Cup Finals
And, of course, numerous grands prixs and nations cup wins.

One of their great moments - Winning the World Cup in 2009

A Less Memorable Moment. 
Even the Best Have Moments of Miscommunication.

I'm sure many of us share the same sentiment.  It will be nice to see the rising stars of the sport, but we'll miss this great old campaigner tremendously.  Thank you, Shutterfly, it's been a privilege watching you.

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