Karoline Valenta's Diego Passed Away

Fri, 06/26/2020 - 17:38
Karoline Valenta and Diego at the 2019 European Dressage Championships in Rotterdam :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Austrian Grand Prix team rider Karoline Valenta has lost her number one in the barn, Diego.  

Diego was a 14-year old Hanoverian gelding by Desperados out of Harmonie (by Hohenstein x Grenadier x Lukas). He was bred by Klaus Michaelis.

The black started its career in Germany as a 3-year old under Meike Friemel. In 2010 he was ridden by Alfons Friedberger, who took him from A-level to M-level until 2012. 

Diego sold to the Valenta family in 2013. Karoline made her international show debut in April 2014 at Young Riders level at the CDI Stadl Paura. That summer they represented Austria at the 2014 European Young Riders Championships in Arezzo and made it to the Kur to Music finals and placed 13th. They won silver at the 2014 Austrian Young Riders Championships. 

In 2015 the duo moved into the senior division and competed at small tour level for a year, before moving up to the Under 25 Grand Prix division in 2016. In 2017 they competed at the European Under 25 Championships in Lamprechtshausen and missed out on an individual medal by a hair, after placing fourth in the Short Grand Prix. At the 2018 European Under 25 Championships in Exloo they were 10th in the Kur Finals. In 2017 and 2018 they were Austrian Under 25 Championships. 

At the 2017 CDIO-U25 Aachen
In 2019 the combination moved into the senior division at Grand Prix level and with good starts in Mariakalnok, Achleiten and Fritzens were selected to ride on the Austrian team at the 2019 European Dressage Championships in Rotterdam, where they finished 37th in the Grand Prix on 69.379%. At the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix Championships in September, they retired after the Grand Prix. However, they finished the year with a 4th and 5th place at the CDI Salzburg in December 2019, but it turned out to be the combination's last international competition. 

Valenta and Diego had not yet made their CDI show debut in 2020 before the corona lockdown. Unfortunately, on 25 May Diego fractured its leg in a freak accident at home in the paddocks and had to be euthanized after full veterinary consultation.

Photo © Astrid Appels

Related Links
Eurodressage Photo Database: Diego
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