Top showjumper Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum has retired her long-term campaigner Checkmate 4 at the age of 20.
The American-born German international rider enjoyed much success with the son of Contender.
Checkmate 4 is out of a Pik Bube II mare and the pair were part of the gold medal-winning team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky.
“Joey” is owned by Octavia Farms and was bred by Renate Gerlach. Meredith’s accolades with 15.3hh Checkmate also include team bronze at the 2009 European Championships in Windsor.
Riding for Germany, Meredith also teamed up with the dark bay Hanoverian-bred gelding as part of the winning Nations Cup team in Wellington in 2012.
“To the public he has always been a little in Shutterfly’s shadow. But Checkmate’s a very successful showjumper,” said Meredith.
“He has won almost €2million in prize-money and more than 50 open classes. That is a little surprising since his mother, Petite Cardinale, was a dressage horse. But his father is the well-known Holsteiner jumping stallion Contender.”
In 2010, they claimed World Cup honours in Lyon, plus a Global Champions Tour (GCT) grand prix in Estoril in the same year.
The gelding will spend his retirement in the field alongside his previous travelling companion and Meredith’s superstar Shutterfly.
Meredith retired the popular Shutterfly at the age of 18, in front of a crowd of 40,000 at CHIO Aachen in 2011 after winning the Warsteiner Prize.
She decided to retire him while he was still jumping at the top level. The gelding, now 22, won two World Cup finals, a bronze medal at the 2006 World Equestrian Games and had four Nations Cup victories. She had ridden him since he was a six-year-old.
Meredith is ranked 53rd in the world showjumping rankings and is married to fellow showjumper Markus Beerbaum.