There is much to be said for a career that can come completely, satisfactorily, one hundred percent full circle. Especially in our sport, that can so quickly see a path turn 180 degrees or come to an unplanned end, the long and successful career of Mic Mac Du Tillard is truly something to be celebrated.
The 17-year-old Selle Francis mare (Cruising x Galoubet A) will soon return to the place of her birth after spending nearly ten years on the road as an international show jumper. Under riders Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli, and since 2014, with David Will, Mic Mac has been a model of consistency, with over 20 FEI wins to her name.
She’s best known for her wins under Will, of Germany, who still counts his 2015 victory at CHIO Aachen as his best victory with her.
“It was the big Saturday class, we were last to go in the jumpoff and the crowd was going crazy because I’m German, it was was really really special,” he recounts. “There were so many times where I thought, ‘wow, what this horse does is unbelievable,’ she does everything with her strong character.”
Mic Mac was bred by Bernadette Le Jeune of Elevage du Tillard in the Normandy region of France in 2000. Madame Le Jeune, who still owns the mare with Dietmar Gugler, has followed Mic Mac’s career closely and will welcome her home to spend her retirement at Elevage du Tillard, and perhaps pass on her talents to a second generation.
Why retire her now, when she is in top form? David and I spoke just minutes after he had ridden the prizegiving for placing a close 2nd in the Prix Renault Mobility CSI5* at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Paris. Mic Mac finished two seconds faster than the third place competitor, and was edged out of first place by less than half a second.
“She’s always winning classes and doing well, and she is very sound and moving good and in her mind she still really wants to do it, but now is the best time to retire because she’s at her best,” Will explained. “I’ve already been 10 years at Dietmar Gulger’s stable, and she was there before me. What she has done for me and Angelica and everyone in the stable is amazing. There’s a point where you say she’s really done enough and we want the best for her.”
And in France, they really know how to celebrate one of their own. In the heart of Paris, France, on Saturday, the French bred Mic Mac Du Tillard is to be honored by one and all in an official retirement ceremony. She’ll also jump her final rounds in competition; with Will tacking her up for the last time to compete in the 1.55m/1.60m Global Champions League – Second Competition presented by Le Figaro. As it always is when Will is at the reins, he will be riding to win, and no matter what happens, he and Mic Mac will enjoy the ride.