Imothep was formerly ridden to great success by Ireland’s Darragh Kenny, most notably to an Individual 7th placing at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Taizo Sugitani, pictured above competing at the 2015 LGCT of Monaco, represents Japan with an impressive resume including five consecutive Olympic Games (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012), six consecutive World Equestrian Games (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014) and two World Cup Finals. Not only has Taizo represented Japan in the Olympics, but his grandfather competed in the 1956 Games, as well as his father in three consecutive Games, in 1968, 1972 and 1976.
“I want to thank Hyperion Stud for this amazing opportunity,” said Sugitani. “They are fantastic horses especially but not limited to Imothep, and I am very excited for the future.”
In addition to Imothep, Hyperion Stud horses Chin Quidam VDL, Cohiba VDL and Dakota VDL have already made their transition to Sugitani’s stables in Lohmar, Germany. It is here they will base the operation until the end of the season. This allows everyone to work closely in training and with the scheduling of competitions for the remainder of the European tour. Once the Hyperion horses transition back to the USA, they will continue to work closely with Taizo in an effort to achieve the goals set by everyone collectively.
“This may come as a surprise for many who have been waiting to hear who would take over as rider on our very talented and successful string of horses,” said Hyperion Stud owner Vicky Castegren. “It was critical for us to find someone who had the correct style and skill, experience, and who we could seamlessly integrate with. Taizo is an immensely talented rider who exemplifies professionalism in all aspects of his life and sport. We are grateful and honored to have such an accomplished equestrian team up with us. We look forward to a lasting relationship with Taizo Sugitani, and I personally feel confident that the road that lies ahead of us is very bright indeed. ”
Team Hyperion is currently restructuring its show plan in order to successfully integrate into Sugitain’s schedule. Imothep, Chin Quidam VDL, Cohiba VDL and Dakota VDL are all in good form and are now preparing to make their return to the competition arena with Sugitani and the rest of the team.