Polina Afanasieva's career starting Grand Prix horse and Aristova's Russian Young Riders team horse Laetare has passed away. He was 18 years old.
Laetare was a Rhinelander by Lord Loxley out of Lina N (by Lancer II x Phantom x General). He was bred by Uwe Neuland.
He was licensed as a breeding stallion at the 2006 Mecklenburger Stallion Licensing in Redefin and did his 30-day stallion performance test in Redefin in March 2008, scoring 8.61 for dressage and 8.24 for show jumping. He finished on a total of 8,48 points.
Under Eva Möller, Laetare competed at the 2008 Bundeschampionate and won the 4-year old stallion class.
PSI Auction Horse
Four months after the Bundeschampionate, Laetare sold at the 2008 PSI Auction to a sponsor of Andreas Helgstrand, a company called Dark Horse, for 520,000 euro at the 2008 PSI Auction.
It was the year that Helgstrand had left Blue Hors and with the financial support of the Vagner family, set up his own independent horse sales business.
At the 2009 Danish Young Dressage Horse Championships, Andreas and Laetare were fourth in the 5-year old finals. Swedish Anna Blomgren, who worked for Helgstrand at the time, rode his to a 13th place in the consolation finals at the 2009 World Championships for Young Dressage Horses in Verden.
Andreas and Laetare made their international show debut at Grand Prix level in 2012, competing at the CDI's in Hagen, Mannheim and Odense.
Sold to Russia
In 2013 Laetare sold to Russian real estate developer Nikolay Aristov, who also owns the equestrian centre Maxima Park, outside Moscow. With the FN the horse was registered as owned by Cromwood Trading Ltd.
The ride on the bay was allocated to his head rider, Polina Afanasieva, who began her international career on another Helgstrand horse, Tacolando Triple R. Polina and Laetare made their international debut at Grand Prix level at the 2013 CDI Zhashkiv in Ukraine and that year they also showed in Minsk.
They returned to the arena two years later and had their most successful year. They showed at the 2015 CDI's in Vidauban, Barcelona, Hagen, Hamburg, Brno, Cappeln, and Otrada.
Two years later in 2017 Nikolay's daughter Anna Aristova rode one season on Laetare at international young riders' level with starts in Hagen, Pompadour, and Diepenbeek. They represented Russia at the European Young Riders Championships in Roosendaal, where they were 38th in the individual test.
In 2018 Polina was back on board for one small tour level CDI in Moscow before her assistant rider, Aleksandra Kartashova, competed Laetaere in his last two CDI's in his career in Moscow in the spring of 2019.
Polina announced the untimely passing of Laetare.
"He had laminitis for a very long time," Polina told Eurodressage. "We tried to fix it for almost one year, but with his low heels it was very difficult. It came in one day out of nowhere. First it didn't look very serious, but then it got worse. We had hope till the end."
Afanasieva was pleased that Kartashova got to ride him but unfortunately his health declined rapidly.
"We gave him to Sasha so she will get the feeling and experience," Polina explained. "It’s not a retirement which I want to give to this horse. He deserved better."
Photos © Astrid Appels - Dirk Caremans - Barbara Schnell
Eurodressage Photo Database: Laetare
Scores: 2017 European Children Junior Young Riders Championships
Russian Teams Selected for 2017 European Junior/Young Riders Championships
Russian Polina Afanasieva Stands her Ground Amongst Seniors at 2013 CDI-W Zhashkov
Scores: 2009 World Championships for Young Dressage Horses
Driver and Cassidy Win Third Danish WCYH Selection Trial
St. Emilion, Doletto and Lawito, Price Highlights of the 2008 PSI Auction