H Azur as a 6-year-old with Pedro Nolasco, Niewpoort Belgium, 2011. Ph. ©Veronique Peternoster
Long before HH Azur became the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final champion with Mclain Ward, she got her education next to the sea in Neiwpoort, Belgium. Bred by Nathalie Beaufort and Pedro Nolasco of Garden’s Horses, in Pervijze, Belgium, HH Azur was a showstopper even as a young horse. She always had a balanced, natural canter, and gained her bravery from outdoor hacks such as this—with Pedro in the tack, she would be allowed to jump small, unusual obstacles when the opportunity arose, learning how to answer complicated questions while staying relaxed and calm. Beaufort and Nolasco later sold Azur to Francois Mathy, which is where Ward connected with her. From there, the rest is history.
Photo ©Veronique Paternoster