Andrew Gould and Indigro are just one of several combinations who will be making their London International Horse Show (LIHS) debut next week, alongside other riders and horses who have become regulars at the show.
Andrew is a British grand prix rider who has been competing internationally for a number of years, but this will be his first time at LIHS. So who is the striking black stallion Indigro who is taking his rider to new heights?
Indigro is a nine-year-old by Negro, out of a Jazz mare, bred in the Netherlands by John Deenan. He was licensed as a KWPN stallion in 2016, scoring 81.5 in his performance test, and was competed by Kirsten Brouwer as a young horse. In 2019, he was bought by Rom Vermunt and Harld Bruinier and moved to the Glock Horse Performance Centre to be trained up the levels by Edward Gal, before being purchased by Tatiana Skillman in April 2022 for Andrew Gould to ride.
Andrew explains that he had spotted Indigro in a video posted online and although the stallion wasn’t for sale, he arranged to view him through connections of dealer Craig Rawlins. And it didn’t take long for him to recognise that the horse was something special.
“About five minutes into riding him I thought, ‘This is mega’,” says Andrew. “He was the best horse I’d ever ridden, by far.
“He was just so genuine,” he explains. “Even with someone who didn’t know him, and with my aids compared to Edward’s style of riding – I just had an easy ride.”
Despite only being together for a matter of months, Indigro and Andrew have already made quite the impact on the British circuit. They won the inter II at their first show together, Wellington Premier League in June, before proving unbeatable in the grand prix at Hartpury Premier League a month later with over 73%.
They finished as overall runners-up behind Gareth Hughes and Sintano Van Hof Olympia in the British national championship in September, having come third in the grand prix freestyle at the National Dressage championships with almost 78%.
Indigro and Andrew then made their international debut in October at Keysoe CDI, winning both the grand prix and freestyle.
“This first year was meant to be all about getting to know him and building a relationship with him, but it’s all gone much quicker than we expected,” says Andrew, who describes the stallion as “so sweet” in the stable and easy to take away and handle at shows.
He admits he doesn’t know how the stallion will cope with the atmosphere at LIHS, but hopes that the show’s new home of the London Excel Centre, with more room around the ring than at Olympia, will prove helpful.
“It’s always been a show I’ve wanted to ride at, but until this year it seemed an unrealistic dream,” he says.
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