Two-Time Dutch National Champion Bayro Euthanised

Tim Lips and Bayro. Photo by Anja Veurink.

It’s with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Bayro, the horse with whom the Netherlands’ Tim Lips secured the Dutch National Championship in both 2017 and 2018, after complications during colic surgery this morning (March 29).

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Vanochtend hebben we met veel pijn in ons hart afscheid moeten nemen van mijn lievelingspaard Bayro. Helaas was hij niet meer te redden tijdens een operatie ter gevolge van koliek. Ik heb het geluk gehad om meer bijzondere paarden in mijn leven gehad te hebben, maar Bayro was absoluut de nummer 1 !!! Een paard met z’n lief karakter, zo intelligent, zoveel kwaliteit; een absoluut droompaard!! Samen hebben we 8 jaar lang fantastische resultaten behaald. Het meest bijzondere resultaat van Bayro is toch wel het ontstaan van de mooist denkbare vriendschap voor het leven met de eigenaren van hem; lieve Rianne en Stijn, Willemien en Hans, Jeanine en Cees, Ineke en Nico, en Chantal en William. En vooral mijn ouders die er 2 jaar geleden voor zorgde dat ik met hem kon blijven rijden!! De talloze lessen bij Nicole met hem zullen me altijd bijblijven, want al was hij regelmatig wat laconiek, als we gingen trainen kwam het beste in hem naar voren!! Zoveel bijzondere momenten die we graag samen nog een aantal jaar hadden willen beleven…. Iedereen die close was met Bayro is verdrietig, ik wil iedereen bedanken die de laatste 8 jaar voor hem gezorgd heeft, niet te vergeten de veterinairen die tot het laatste moment gevochten hebben voor hem. Bayro was zeker onze “Once in a lifetime horse”! Dankje wel Bayro voor al die bijzondere moment 😘 R.I.P Bayro ❤️

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“This morning we had to say goodbye to my favourite horse Bayro with a lot of pain in our hearts,” said Tim in a statement on social media. “I’ve been lucky to have many special horses in my life, but Bayro was definitely the number one. A horse with his sweet character, so intelligent, and with so much quality is an absolute dream horse.”

Tim Lips and Bayro at the 2019 European Championships. Photo by William Carey.

The 14-year-old KWPN gelding (Casantos x Vanya) had been the lynchpin of the Dutch team in recent years, representing his home nation at the 2016 Rio Olympics, finishing 21st, and the 2019 Luhmühlen European Championships, at which he posted an impressive ninth-place finish.

After a promising debut at the four-star level in 2014, which saw him finish in the top ten in the prestigious Blenheim CCI4*-S for eight- and nine-year-olds, he made his five-star debut in 2015 an auspicious one. He would finish seventh in his first attempt at the level at Luhmühlen and eleventh at Pau at the end of the season. A consistent first half of 2016 would make his spot on the Dutch team at Rio unassailable. Two further top-twenty results would follow in five-stars at Luhmühlen, as well as wins in four-stars at Sopot and Strzegom. In 2018, Bayro and Tim would lead the first phase at Luhmühlen, setting a Dutch dressage record along the way with their impressive mark of 24.1.

Tim Lips and Bayro. Photo by William Carey.

Bayro’s consistency was rewarded handsomely: he topped the Olympic rankings for non-qualified nations ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, guaranteeing the Netherlands one of the two individual places they’ll boast at the Games next year. But for Tim, the partnership has produced much more than just prizes and rankings.

“Together, we’ve achieved fantastic results for eight years,” he said. “The most special result with Bayro is the creation of the most beautiful friendship for life with his owners, dear Rianne and Stijn, Willemien and Hans [Meulendijks], Jeanine and Cees [van Ham], Ineke and Nico [van Splunder], and Chantal and William [Holvoet]. And, especially, my parents, who made sure I could keep riding him two years ago.”

Tim Lips and Bayro. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Tim fondly recalls his time training with the gelding, whose last event was at last summer’s European Championships, though he enjoyed a stint showjumping in Spain in preparation for the 2020 season at the beginning of the year.

“The constant lessons at [dressage trainer] Nicole [Werner’s] with him will always keep up with me, because though he was a bit laconic regularly, when we started training the best of him came forward. We had so many special moments – we would have loved to have experienced more together for a few more years. Everyone who was close to Bayro is sad. I want to thank everyone who has taken care of him for the last eight years, not to forget the vets who fought for him until the last minute. Bayro was definitely our ‘once in a lifetime’ horse. Thank you, Bayro, for all the special moments.”

All of us at EN send our heartfelt condolences to Tim and all of Bayro’s connections.