Less than two months into their partnership, Austrian U25 Grand Prix rider Nicola Ahorner had to say goodbye to her new GP schoolmaster Ludwig der Sonnenkönig. The stallion succumbed to a severe colic attack.
Ludwig der Sonnenkönig was a 15-year old Oldenburg stallion by London Swing x Liberator x Directeur. He is bred by Christian Richter.
Well Travelled Stallion
The gorgeous chestnut stallion with his long signature forelock has had a long career with different riders across continents.
Initially owned by Spanish Marianna Pinyol Garcia, the horse made its show debut in 2010 under Anna Pfeilsticker, who took him up to L level until 2013. He then sold to British Sam Duckworth, who first competed him at M-level in May 2014 and rode him through Grand Prix until the end of 2016.
Ludwig der Sonnenkonig moved to Helgstrand Dressage in Denmark to be sold. He was first competed in Denmark by Joao Moreira. Late 2017 Danish Under 25 rider Victoria Vallentin took over the ride. They were in the running for a team spot for the 2018 World Equestrian Games, but got bested by Betina Jaeger on Belstaff in the CDIO Aachen head-to-head WEG team qualifier. As a consolation, Vallentin went to the 2018 European Under 25 Championships in Exloo, where she won Short Grand Prix test bronze. In 2019 the pair won the Danish Under 25 Championships.
In September 2019, the Japan Racing Association leased Ludwig der Sonnenkonig from Helgstrand Dressage as Kazuki Sado's 2020 Tokyo Olympic hopeful. The pair made its CDI debut at the 2019 CDI Waregem. The pair became Japan's best scoring duo in European competitions, but the pressure got to them at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, where the horse was overtrained. Despite trying hard, Ludwig posted 62.531% in the Grand Prix. It was their last show together.
Sold to Austria
In the autumn of 2021 Austrian Nicola Ahorner purchased Ludwig as a Grand Prix schoolmaster.
Sadly their partnership was short-lived. On 21 December the stallion had a severe colic attack and could not be saved.
"We rode in the morning and in the evening he coliced extremely badly," a devastated Ahorner told Eurodressage. "We brought him to the clinic right away, but it was already too late."
Ahorner, who is studying Medicine at university, added, "he meant so much to me even though I didn’t really have him for a long time. He was such a special special horse and I am so thankful that I had him in my life. I had hoped to give him an amazing home and a fantastic retirement."
Photos © Astrid Appels - private