Beatrice Arturi's Junior Riders' Horse Donaudistel Passed Away

Sat, 02/15/2020 - 13:15
Beatrice Arturi and Donaudistel at the 2019 European Junior Riders Championships :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Beatrice Arturi's Donaudistel, Italy's most successful dressage horse at junior riders level at the moment, has passed away on Tuesday 11 February 2020. 

Donaudistel was a 17-year old Trakeher mare by Distelzar out of Donaubirke (by Herzzauber x Mahon x Scharzwälder). She was bred by Johann Albert Timmermann.

Donaudistel was owned by Paola Gigola before selling to Mario Arturi for his daughter Beatrice to ride.

The 18-year old Beatrice started competing internationally in the Children's division on Sandro Minka Est in 2015, before moving to the junior classes in 2016. Her ride for 2017 was Le Bom, who took her to the 2017 European Junior Riders Championships in Roosendaal. 

In 2017 Beatrice got aboard Donaudistel and won gold at the Italian Junior Riders Championships in the technical classes. 

They made her international show debut at the CDI Nice in March 2018. Shows in Ornago, Aachen, and Achleiten followed. They rode on the Italian team at the 2018 European Junior Riders Championships in Fontainebleau, where they made it to the Kur to Music finals and placed 14th. They also won gold at the 2018 Italian Junior Riders Championships

In 2019 Beatrice and Donaudistel showed at CDI's in Nice, Ornago, Wiener Neustadt, Lipica and Hagen before representing their country again on home turf at the 2019 European Junior Riders Championships in San Giovanni in Marignano. They achieved a 7th place in the individual as well as in the freestyle, a historic feat for Italian dressage to be ranked so high at junior level. They were also the 2019 Italian Junior Champions.

Donaudistel at the 2019 CDIO-J Hagen
Arturi was supposed to make the move to Young Riders level this year, but unfortunately it won't be with Donaudistel. The mare sadly succumbed to a severe colic attack.

"On Tuesday afternoon my trainer called my dad and told us to bring Donaudistel to the clinic," Arturi told Eurodressage. "My dad picked me up at school and we drove to the stables, where we loaded her on the truck. During the ride I was there with her to support her. Fifteen minutes later we arrived at the clinic and the vets immediately noticed that she could not be saved."

The mare had massive colic signs and it turned out she suffered from a herniated diaphragmatic muscle, so her intestines were spilling to her heart and lungs.

"It's not fair that she had to pass, because she was such a good mare that gave her heart," said a bereaved Arturi. "She believed she was superior to other horses as if she lived in her own world. She was very special. She was such a pleasure and I spent the best moments of my life with her. We understood each other and our relationship was based on mutual trust. Every day now that I pass her stall, I miss her, but I think of the beautiful and happy memories I have."

Photos © Astrid Appels

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