A STELLAR CAREER
THE HISTORY OF VERDI TN, A TEN-YEAR CAREER AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL AND WINNINGS OF OVER €2,880,000
Verdi TN is a great champion who went into retirement last February at the age of eighteen after competing for over a decade. His career as a leader in the field spanned more than ten years. Thanks to his stellar career he suppressed the doubts of those who had been somewhat sceptical about his approval during the performance test, which he took at the age of three.
It was his owners, the equestrian business ‘Team Nijhof’ and Kees van den Oetelaar, that believed in Verdi right from the start. The team of Eric and Maikel van der Vleuten gave their support later.
Henk Nijhof Junior tells the story well: “My father was interested in Verdi even before he was born. He knew the female line of his mother Clarissa very well and was keen to buy one of her male foals for himself. For this reason, he made an agreement with the breeders, optioning for several years for the unborn foal on the condition that it was male.”
And in 2002, the one and only male foal finally arrived. Henk Nijhof Senior paid 25,000 Dutch guilders, roughly €11,350, to take him home as soon as he was weaned, which was a substantial sum to pay for a foal in those days. Not bad when you consider that Verdi has won over €2,880,000 and that’s before you count the earnings from his stud services. That’s certainly a sound investment!
VERDI AND MAIKEL
The success of Verdi TN goes hand in hand with that of Maikel van der Vleuten. In fact, the stallion started racing at the age of four with the then 18-year-old Dutch man who had been born into the industry. The rest is history and their partnership led to an extremely rare success story given that no one else but Eric van der Vleuten had ridden him in races. His career was off to a flying start. He won the categories for four and five-year-old stallions and at six years old he was awarded third place in the Dutch young horse championships before winning again at the age of seven. At six years old he won seventh place at the World Young Horse Championships with Maikel van der Vleuten. Just before he turned eight, he made his debut appearance at the Wieze Grand Prix in Belgium, as well as at the World Cup stages in Verona and London Olympia in the categories from 150 and 160.
Just before he turned eight, he made his debut appearance at the Wieze Grand Prix in Belgium, as well as at the World Cup stages in Verona and London Olympia in the categories from 150 and 160.
Since then, the duo has been a permanent fixture in the first Dutch teams with which it defended its ‘orange’ colours in three European Championships. It also won team golds at Aachen 2015 as well as at the WEG in Caen and team silvers at the London 2012 Olympics and the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The pair also competed in five World Cup Finals, for four of which they ended up in the top ten, three Nations Cup Finals and two Rolex IJRC Top 10 Finals. During his ten-year career, Verdi TN has taken part in 125 Grand Prix, winning those of Lummen, Salzburg, Lyon, Al Ain, Madrid and Verona. He also won second place at the World Cups in Verona, Shanghai, Gothenburg, Helsinki and Spruce Meadows. He has also competed in the Nations’ Cups of Rome, Rotterdam, Falsterbo and St. Gallen.
In recent years Verdi TN has competed against his own offspring. There are regularly about 100 competitors who take part in CSI events. Amongst them, however, Verdi TN stands out for his high quality offspring that are about to make their debut appearance on the international proscenium. The best is yet to come!