Meredith Michaels Beerbaum & Fibonacci in competition at CHIO Aachen 2016.
The USA’s Lillie Keenan will take over the ride on Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum’s Olympic medal winning partner Fibonacci 17.
Keenan confirmed the purchase today while expressing her excitement on the addition of Fibonacci, a 12-year-old Swedish warmblood gelding (For Feeling x VDL Corlando), to her string. She tried Fibonacci in Wellington, Florida on the suggestion of her coach, Ireland’s Cian O’Connor, who thought that Keenan and the spectacular grey gelding would match well. Fibonacci was owned in partnership by Artemis Farm and Michaels-Beerbaum.
“Cian knows the way that I ride, and he felt very strongly that it could potentially be a great partnership, and a great match,” 20-year-old Keenan said. “When I was riding [Fibonacci], it became obvious that his suspicions were correct.”
Keenan emphasized the deep respect she has for Michaels-Beerbaum, who rode Fibonacci to many great performances over the last three years, the most significant of which was earning the team bronze medal for Germany at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“Meredith has done an unbelievable job in bringing this horse to this level,” she said. “I am so thankful that she was so generous in letting me see the horse, and she believed that I would match with him. To have someone trust to have a young rider on one of their best horses, that takes a lot of faith.”
“I am happy to congratulate Lillie Keenan on the purchase of Fibonacci.”
“I have a great string of horses, but to be able to add a horse like Nacho, who has so much experience and success, it’s really going to be an honor to be a part of his career.”
Keenan, who is currently enrolled at Harvard University, will finish her spring semester before joining O’Connor’s Karlswood team of horses and riders at their summer base near Frankfurt, Germany. She plans to put the time into working carefully on developing her own partnership with Fibonacci, who is known around the world for his expressive jump and style.
“I am happy to congratulate Lillie Keenan on the purchase of Fibonacci,” Michaels-Beerbaum wrote on her website today. “It is not always easy when a partnership comes to an end, but in this case I am thrilled to watch a new partnership begin. Nacho has been an extraordinary horse for me over the last 3 years and I am truly appreciative of the successes we enjoyed together. Now it is time for him to help a very talented young rider clear the obstacles in her path and achieve her dreams.”
Keenan posted a short clip of her trial ride with Fibonacci, below:
I'm thrilled to announce a very special new arrival to my team of horses: Fibonacci (Nacho!) ???I am honored to have the opportunity to be a part of Nacho’s career as I take over the reins from Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum. I have big shoes to fill, and I could not be more excited about the 2017 show season. Nacho will now join the wonderful team of horses that I am so lucky to have. Thank you so much to Cian for the foresight of this partnership, making it possible for me to work with one of the most talented horses in the world. And special thanks to Meredith for sharing Nacho – I will do all I can to follow in your footsteps!Check out this short clip of us!
Posted by Lillie Keenan on Wednesday, April 5, 2017