Goodbye old friend
Sometimes one would like to pause time. So that it would march more slowly and let our four-legged friends live for ever. But over and again it’s time to say goodbye. So it is today, because GLOCK’s Tango is no more. The 18-year-old stallion had long suffered from a chronic illness, which had been treated by specialists over a protracted period. On the advice of the veterinarian giving treatment, we have let him pass on in order to spare him prolonged suffering.
"He was good-natured yet cheeky at the same time. He was a horse with a great personality and very special for me, because he was the horse who accompanied me from when I embarked on self employment", said GLOCK Rider Hans Peter Minderhoud, deeply saddened by the loss but also thankful for the precious time spent together with this KWPN chestnut stallion of such strong character, who had reached the age of 18.
GLOCK’s Tango came to Hans Peter aged three and had one primary trait right from the start: shyness. Tango (Jazz x Contango) imagined that danger lurked behind every bush and, at the first stallion performance tests, he turned away from the judges’ bench many times. "It was terrible!" recalled Hans Peter, "I wasn’t at all sure how things could work with him at tournaments. But with time he became more trusting and his quirks became a thing of the past." A great source of support for him was his groom Anna, who looked after the stallion right from the start and accompanied Tango to all tournaments from then on. "Tango and Anna were a super team", said Hans Peter Minderhoud, "she loved him."
Hans Peter trained Tango, rode him at all the stallion and youngster competitions, presented him at the Pavo Cup and the World Championships for young dressage horses in Verden when he was five years old. "Tango was a stallion and you noticed it, but he always behaved ", recalled Hans Peter of the great chestnut horse with a blaze, who hid his talents early on, only to reveal them through his performance in sport. "He learned the exercises incredibly fast and so he was ready for Grands Prix at the age of nine. He had a lot of talent for the passage-piaffe and, above all, the passage was easy-going. Tango didn’t have the largest canter but it was very easy to teach him the canter exercises, like pirouettes and lead change. In 2010 Tango went to his first tournament at Grand Prix level and it was just one year later that Hans Peter and the chestnut stallion celebrated one of their greatest successes.
"It was in 2011 that I became Dutch Champion with him. I rode Tango and Edward rode Sisther de Jeu. Tango and Sisther were always together in the stables and he idolised her. When Tango was then alone in the arena, he did indeed dance to impress. I always had the feeling he was thinking ‘where is she, where is she?’, with the result that he was even more expressive than otherwise." Hans Peter and Tango won the Grand Prix Special with a very high score (in those days) of over 76 percent. "You’ve certainly come a long way", said Hans Peter of this memory, "if you emerge from the Special with a score like that and then recall how Tango was at the age of four, always turning round. And now he stands there and presents himself with self confidence. That’s always a special moment, when horses get to the highest level of training and then do so well in a competition."
Tango won the World Cup stage in Odense in 2011 and qualified for the World Cup Final in s’Hertogenbosch in 2012, which he completed in sixth place. "In terms of sport it was a bit of a shame for Tango that I also had Nadine at the same time. She was the more reliable horse, so she got chosen for the big championships like the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky and the 2011 European Championships in Rotterdam. Otherwise he would certainly have gone to several championships.
"Tango was both cute and fun to be with. He could be naughty, but he was never dangerous or mean. He was often frisky, jumping and playing around, but he was always under control. He loved sugar above all, behaved like a gentleman with his grooms and rider, but displayed his dominance around other stallions.
"For me he was a special horse. I had him from the age of three right through till now. He was my first horse when I set myself up as self-employed. I relocated many times and he was always there, as indeed when we moved to the Glock Horse Performance Center Netherlands. He was a big part of my life and my career. It is a pleasure to be able to experience how a horse can develop from a young, timid and anxious creature into a horse that’s even a little macho, like Tango was later on. As a youngster he was frightened by applause, but a little later he started to enjoy it. I can only say ‘thank you’ for many wonderful years and ‘farewell’. We will miss him."
GLOCK’s Tango (Jazz x Contango)
Most important successes
2011 Dutch Champion
2011 winner of World Cup Qualification, Odense
2012 6th place in World Cup Final, s’Hertogenbosch
many international placings