Francois Mathy Jr. & Polinska Des Isles competing in the 2015 CP International Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows Masters. Ph. ©Erin Gilmore for NoelleFloyd.com
After a successful, 14 year partnership, Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jr. and Team Harmony are amicably parting ways. All eight horses owned by Team Harmony, which is the venture of former FEI President HRH Princess Haya and her husband, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, will depart the stables of Francois Mathy Jr. this week.
The string includes top mounts Polinska des Isles and D’Atlantique Royale. All horses will make their way to Newmarket in England, the location of Princess Haya’s stables in England.
“It was for me a unique opportunity to be in and I’ll always be grateful to HRH Princess Haya for her confidence and support for more than 14 years of working together,” Francois Mathy Jr. said in a statement on his website. “Unfortunately, all good things must end, as seen from the horses and Polinska Des Isles with whom we have lived so many fantastic moments is, of course, not easy.”
Aboard Polinska Des Isles, a 13-year-old Selle Frances mare (Diamant De Semilly x Valespoir de Malabry), Mathy represented Belgium at the 2014 FEI World Cup Final, and notched top finishes around the world, including at London, Calgary, Mechelen, and Toronto.
John Whitaker of Great Britain, who also rides Team Harmony-owned show jumpers, will now stand as the solo representative for Team Harmony’s show jumping string. It is unknown whether the horses formerly ridden by Mathy will be transferred to Whitaker’s stable.
“I think these changes will give us the opportunity to enter into collaborations with new partners and allow us to evolve with other horses compete at the highest level,” Mathy added. He stated that he is relieved to still have the promising mounts Falco and Casanova, owned by longtime owner Ingrid Norman, in his stable, along with talented young up and comers such as Uno and Balthazar.
Mathy owns and operates one of Europe’s top training and sales facilities located south of Liege, Belgium, and also plans to dedicate himself to sports management and sale opportunities that are on the horizon.
“HRH Princess Haya has been a great owner for 14 years,” Mathy said. “She gave me the chance to find ride and keep fantastic horses and I have tremendous respect and admiration for her. The board has taken the decision to end up my contract with Team Harmony and that only means for me that it is time to move on.”