Following a successful winter competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, an offer was made on the horse through well-known horse dealer Jan Tops of the Netherlands. Purchased by Athina Onassis de Miranda, the horse will be ridden by her husband, two-time Olympic Team Bronze Medalist Alvaro 'Doda' de Miranda of Brazil.
Picolien Zeldenrust, a 10-year-old chestnut Dutch Warmblood mare by Indoctro, was shipped from Florida on May 2 headed for her new home in Fleurus, Belgium, where the Miranda's are based with Olympic Champion, Rodrigo Pessoa.
"It is strange not seeing her in her stall," reflected Chesler-Ortiz, 26. "I wrote down all the things that I had learned about Picolien over the past three years and gave it to them so that they could take the best possible care of her. I am both happy and sad. It is good for business to sell a top horse, but I will really miss her."
Chesler-Ortiz purchased Picolien Zeldenrust as a six-year-old in Belgium from Alan Waldman. Over the past three seasons, the pair has developed a rapport that saw them develop into one of Canada's top grand prix combinations. Their success this winter culminated on March 17 when they jumped three clear rounds to place second in the €300,000 ($400,000 US) CN WorldWide Florida Open Grand Prix, the richest Grand Prix event held in the United States.
"She was a great horse for me, the best one I ever had," affirmed Chesler-Ortiz. "I am glad that she is going to a nice place and I hope that she has a successful career and does really well. It will be exciting to follow her progress."
Chesler-Ortiz and her husband, Venezuelan Team member Juan Ortiz, operate a coaching, training and sales business based in Orangeville, ON. Construction has just been completed on a beautiful new 20-stall barn and indoor arena, which will complement the existing 12-stall barn and outdoor riding ring. With the new facility, the Ortiz's will be able to accommodate additional clientele, and they also plan to hire an in-house trainer that can accompany clients to smaller shows as well as remain in Canada during the winter while they travel to Florida.
While Chesler-Ortiz says that she will eventually look to buy some new horses, her first order of business was purchasing a new house. Located right next to Sher-Al Farms, the property owned by her parents, Sherry and Alan, where her business is based, Chesler-Ortiz's new home sits on 23 acres of land and has a four-stall barn. In addition, she bought two paint horses, a father and son, and gave one to her father in appreciation of his support. She will keep the younger paint horse, a four-year-old, for herself and will stable him at her new property, along with a quarter horse that her father gave her for her 21st birthday.
With the sale of Picolien Zeldenrust, Chesler-Ortiz will now concentrate on Ranville as well as her two developing mounts, Aslan and Triton, both seven years old.
"I plan to do the first week of the Pan American Games Selection Trials with Ranville and then take it from there," explains Chesler-Ortiz of the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Calvados. "I did have high hopes for Picolien in the Trials, but now I just have to keep my hopes up for Ranville. He is a more difficult horse and I still have a lot to learn about riding him. He jumped some big rounds in Florida this winter, but I want to make sure that he is ready for this level of competition. I don't want to rush it."
A member of the Canadian Nations' Cup Team at the age of 17 in New York City, Chesler remains the youngest rider to have ever represented Canada in Nations' Cup competition.
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