If you’re named the 2021 USEF International Horse of the Year, then you know someone out there is going to dig up some dirt on you.

And today, that someone is me. Not much dirt to be found mind you, mostly just shine.

Here are 10 interesting facts about Balou du Reventon:

  • Balou du Reventon, The Show Jumper Formerly Known as Cornet’s Balou. Balou du Reventon is not his nom de plume (or rather nom de saut d’obstacles). He had a name change when he was younger.
  • Mr. Balou, as I shall refer to him from this point forth, was born in Germany but today hangs his halter in the USA. He is a dark bay stallion reaching the average height of 16’2.5 hands high. Average though his height may be, there is nothing average about his jumping. During his 70-day test for the Oldenburg studbook, he was awarded four perfect 10s for his jumping ability, jumping technique, course jumping and free jumping. He was also the reserve champion. He’s just good at what he does.
  • Mr. Balou has had an international string of riders. What good horse hasn’t? He started with German rider, Patrick Stühlmeyer, and then Russian rider, Liubov Kochetova purchased him and brought him to the U.S. She sold Balou to Chilian rider Jorge Matte Capdevila, who eventually allowed his Irish trainer, Darragh Kenny to take over the ride. In 2020, Mr. Balou landed in the American hands of Brian Moggre. Ann Thompson, mind you, has owned him since 2018.
  • Mr. Balou’s passport is full to bursting. He has competed in Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Poland, France, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Spain, Netherlands, China, Ireland, Portugal, Canada and of course the good old US of A. He puts my globetrotting to shame.
  • As far as achievements go, Mr. B has a list of them as long as his shiny black tail. He has competed in 240 FEI classes, 35 World Cup classes, 26 team competitions and jumped 66 five-star courses. We haven’t the time (nor desire) to list them all.
  • Mr. Balou is German but prefers the more accurate title of Oldenburg. I’m not sure how he feels about this but, 38.57% of his blood is Thoroughbred and Arab. An interesting but not overly surprising twist.
  • If you want your mare to date Mr. B, it will have to be virtual and it will cost you around $1200 USD. According to those that work for him, he is approved to date Hanoverian, Oldenburg, OS International, Mecklenburg, Westphalian, Rheinlander and all southern German breeding association mares.
  • Riders of Mr. B have described him as shy, smart, careful, scopey, hard-working, and as with all good-looking, overly athletic creatures, a little quirky.
  • Mr. Balou is no stranger to the social media game and has both Facebook and Instagram accounts. (Share, like, follow!) And like the rest of the world, he only posts his winningest moments. No messy hair, or frolicking photos of this stud I’m afraid. His social is all about ribbons, hugs, tight knees, big jumps and a happy rider. #2021USEFIHOTY #IHOTY
  • Mr. Balou has a birthday coming up on the 24th of January, making him an Aquarius, which is an air sign. (I had to look that up.) It makes sense because he jumps 1.60m fences like it ain’t no thang.

Happy birthday, Mr. International Horse of the Year, happy birthday to you.