Apollo is a gorgeous bay Hanoverian that was imported from Germany as a four year old, and his registered name is Grand Rebell. Apollo is by the noted Hanoverian stallion Grand Cru, who has sired several international dressage competitors. He was imported by a hunter trainer which is where he met Vivian, his current owner. Pretty much everyone who visits our farm meets Apollo. Given that he stands at 18.1 hands, he is hard to miss! People always notice his impressive presence and it would be hard to say how many people have had their picture taken with him.
During her recovery Vivian’s husband rode Apollo, doing flatwork and low jumps. Vivian said he would set up a chair for her next to Apollo in the cross ties and she would sit with Apollo and simply enjoy his presence. As she began to recover and gain strength she began grooming and hand grazing him, and finally was able to start riding him. Vivian had quite a challenge as she went from riding small school horses to 18+ hand Apollo. She rode at the hunter barn at first but decided she wanted to pursue dressage. She changed barns and began her relationship with Joan, who is still her dressage trainer today. Vivian credits Joan with teaching her to truly ride Apollo’s big gaits and to be comfortable and confident on her huge horse.
Two pictures of Apollo with Vivian’s trainer Joan aboard
Apollo has taken well to retirement
Apollo letting me know that the barn is boring and he is ready to go back outside anytime
Aside from his impressive presence Apollo has a wonderful personality. He is sweet and loving towards everyone, although he greatly prefers to be out in the pasture with his friends over being in the barn. When he first arrived he fell madly in love with Sparky the donkey. They were quite the mismatched pair and made for an interesting picture next to each other. Apollo was obsessed with Sparky and wanted him all to himself. He would herd him around to keep him away from the other horses. Apollo was not interested in Sparky being friends with anyone but him.
Apollo grazing nose to nose with Sparky; Apollo is 18.1 hands and sparky is a little over 14 hands
Apollo on his first day at our farm. It isn’t a particularly good picture of Apollo, Jason or my Dad, but does a good job of showing how big he is.
To Sparky’s relief that changed a few months later when Ivan joined us for retirement. Apollo dropped Sparky like a hot potato and Ivan became his new best friend. His loyalty to Ivan has been much more enduring than his loyalty to Sparky, as over two years later he and Ivan are still joined at the hip. They hate to be separated from each other and scream and call to each other incessantly on the rare occasion they have to spend a short while apart.
Apollo and his best friend Ivan