The Swiss magazine Le Cavalier Romand reports that Jan Tops has bought Palloubet d’Halong, a 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Baloubet du Rouet—Indra Love, Muguet du Manoir) for the record sum of 11 million Euros, which translates to roughly $15 million U.S. dollars. Palloubet will be ridden by Tops’ wife, Autralian rider Edwina Tops-Alexander, who currently is ranked 14th in the Longines World Rankings.
Swiss rider Janika Sprunger, 26, developed Palloubet from a 6-year-old to the grand prix level. This year, they were second in the $1,323,430 Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen and seventh individually in the PSI European Championships. Palloubet also jumped two clean rounds in the Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and La Baule (France) Furusiyya FEI Nations Cups.
Le Cavalier Romand reporter Alban Poudret spoke to Sprunger’s father, Hansueli Sprunger. You can read the original story in French here. Hansueli said that Palloubet’s owner, Georg Kähny, had turned down repeated multi-million-dollar offers for the horse because he wanted to keep it for Janika. But after the European Championships, “It became madness,” Hansueli said to Poudret.
Sprunger, who had great success as a young rider and won the Swiss championship in 2012 aboard Graciella II, also has a 12-year-old, Uptown Boy, as well as a number of young prospects.