GAZELLE…When André Pignon, breeder and trainer, set out on a nice spring sunday in 1978 in search of a horse for a friend, he did not even think of returning with two horses instead of one. It should be noted that the second horse, a feeble little titch, had no bloodline to be interesting for his riding stable. She was awfully skinny and had long bony legs. It seemed like her fatless neck could hardly hold up her head.
Her owner only thought of taking her to the slaughterer. But that changed when André Pignon saw the little filly, that had an unquestionable confidence in his 13 years old son Jean-François and didn`t move from his side.
He did not have the belief but he felt sympathy for the 18 month old little mare. So he took her home. Until today she answers to the name “Gazelle”which is in line with her long and bony legs. During the course of the day they realised: Gazelle had chosen Jean-François so he had to be her trainer.
They equaly started into the period of training. Gazelle tought her young rider patience and hardheadedness for school. And in return he showed her how to work playfully and to have trust in human beings.
When she was two and a half years, she was broken. Certainly without a saddle because this would have been too expensive. He sharpened his riding up in front of the windows of his school, proud of his mount with a hight of 58,27 (1,48m). He released Gazelle into a meadow aside. While they developed, they explored differend methods like show jumping, promenading and to ride in a carriage.They tried out ski-joering without success, it ended up with a downfall into the snow.
They tested endurance rides but the little mare, that never acts like others do, decided on her first race to split and trottered into a van….with the rider on her back.
Because of the tricks she played on him, Jean-François thought the first time of performances. It seems to run in the family!
First he dabbled in vaulting at ‘Mer de Sable'(a famous leisure park in France) and than he invented a show with Gazelle representing a brumby that teases a man coming from the stone age. Chases and baring one’s teeth, rearing aggressively and crazy gallops ending up smoothly in agreement.
The audience all over Europe is touched by the little pony and her extra.
But her artistic talent does not end up here. Gazelle gave birth to four fillies and one of them, the beautiful SALSA, was combined with her in a show which gave the mother a lift. The audience loves their cheekiness and briskness.
Last year Jean-François thought of giving his beloved Gazelle a break. And the one that should have ended up in a slaughterhouse was 23 and at her best, when she left the limelight in Barcelona while thousands of people acknowledged her with applause.
After all these eventful and playful years, she jumps around a little more carefuly on Pignon`s paddocks, but she is still capable of teaching the fillies keeping company with her. She stays the mascot of a family who adores her.