Nadine Capellmann's career making Grand Prix horse Gracioso has passed away at age 31. The Westfalian gelding was euthanized on Sunday evening 13 November 2016 after suffering from a dramatic bout of colic.
The Westfalian Gracioso was born in 1985 and bred by Wilhelm Feldhaus. He was by Grundstein I out of Remona (by Renaldo x Golderg x Gründer).
He was first competed as a 4-year old in 1989 by Wilhelm Zegers, who took him from the riding horse tests to A-level. Klaus Balkenhol purchased the horse from Zegers and took it to FEI level. Klaus began showing him in the small tour in 1994. Anabel showed him once in October 1994. In 1995 the horse made the transition to Grand Prix level with Klaus. By September 1995 Nadine Capellmann had bought Gracioso for the then staggering amount of 1 million Deutsch Marks and she continued the horse's show career.
Trained by Klaus Balkenhol, Capellmann and Gracioso quickly became members of the German A-team and in 1997 they first represented Germany at the European Championships in Verden, where they won team gold and finished fourth individually. They also won bronze at the 1997 German Championships. More medal glory followed with team gold at the 1998 World Equestrian Games in Rome and 1999 European Championships in Arnheim. They were the German Champions in 1999. In 2001 they won the CDIO Aachen Grand Prix and Special and in 2002 they grabbed another gold at the German Nationals in Mannheim. Their final show together was the 2003 German Championships in Gera, where they earned bronze.
They won over 300,000 euro in prize money at shows in Germany alone.
"When a horse turns almost 32, the logical part in a human can say he had a full life, but in my heart it still hurts," Capellmann said about the passing of her chestnut gelding. "Gracioso will always have a special place in my memories. He enjoyed his daily paddock till the end as well as Sabine's loving care. He leaves behind a big empty spot in our stable and we'll miss him greatly."
Photo © Dirk Caremans
Eurodressage Photo Database: Gracioso
Nadine Capellmann's Gracioso Retired
Capellmann and Husenbeth, 2002 German Dressage Champions
Capellmann and Gracioso Still a Dominating Pair
Gracioso Strong in the CDI Grand Prix
Capellmann and Gracioso Win 1999 German Dressage Championships