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Olympic Ferro Retires from Competition

The famous black dressage stallion, Olympic Ferro (by Ulft), has been retired from competition following a very public court battle.

Jan Lamers and Andriaan van der Goor, Olympic Ferro's owners, reached an agreement with Dutch rider Coby van Baalen and the horse will return to the stallion station Van Maanen in Ede, The Netherlands. This puts an end to the legal proceedings where van Baalen was suing the owners for taking the horse away from her. Van Baalen had claimed that a signed contract guaranteed her the ride on Olympic Ferro until the 2004 Athens Games, while the owners claimed this contract was broken verbally following the Sydney Olympics returning the stallion to his breeding duties.

Van Baalen won the firt court appearance where the judge ordered the stallion to be returned to Van Baalen for training until the 2004 Olympics.

At the request of the owners, two independent veterinarians had been contracted to conduct a vet check in early November, 2002. A tendon injury (which was initially discovered immediately after the Sydney Games) and curbs on his hocks were found and the ensuing discussion decided that the horse will no longer be able to compete effectively in the show ring in the near future.

A further court appearance for December 12, 2002 was cancelled.

This is a definite blow to Coby van Baalen's competitive career as Olympic Ferro was her top international Grand Prix horse.

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