Israeli team rider Eyal Zlatin has received a Grand Prix horse to ride from his fellow Israeli Nicola Ahorner in the hopes of being able to field a team for Israel on the path towards the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
Ahorner has sent her young Grand Prix horse Facilone FRH to Zlatin in Germany to train and compete.
Facilone FRH is an 11-year old Hanoverian by Furstenball out of Dorina (by De Niro x Weltmeyer x Bolero). He is bred by Guenter Lindwehr.
The horse was first competed in Germany as a 4-year old by Bianca Nowag. She rode him in the Bundeschampionate qualifier and finished 8th at the 2016 Bundeschampionte in Warendorf.
Also in 2017 the pair competed in the 5-year old young horse classes and became reserve champions at the 2017 Hanoverian Young Horse Championships, but they did not return to Warendorf. Instead the horse sold to Austria
Owned by Ruth Wimpissinger-Kerky, the bay gelding was trained by Austrian Grand Prix rider Stephanie Dearing.
The new duo represented Austria at the 2018 World Championships for young dressage horses in Ermelo and finished 8th in the consolation finals for 6-yyear olds.
In 2019 Dearing and Facilone competed in the 7-year old classes at the CDI Ebreichsdorf and Wiener Neustadt and sold to the Ahorner family. Dearing returned to WCYH in Ermelo with the gelding and finished 14th in the consolation finals for 7-year olds
Ahorner then put Facilone in training with German Grand Prix rider Marcus Hermes, who produced him to the highest level.
They made their show debut at Intermediaire II level in October 2021 in Ankum and in 2022 competed on the Louisdor Cup circuit. At the Louisdor Cup Finals in Frankfurt, they placed 8th
Zlatin has now received the ride on Facilone.
"I know family Ahorner for many years now through our connection to Israel," Eyal told Eurodressage. "I’m very thankful for family Ahorner for the trust in me and very grateful to have such an incredible horse under the saddle. Facilone for me is a horse with amazing talent for all the Grand Prix work and he has no weaknesses. He is very nice to ride and Marcus did a fantastic job training him up to the Grand Prix level."
Zlatin trains with Gonnelien Rothenberger and Wolfram Wittig.
Israel to Paris
In July 2022 Facilone's owner Nicola Ahorner declared for Israel and is aiming for the Paris Olympic Games, both individually and with a team.
Israel has only very few international Grand Prix riders and made history by being able to field a team to the 2019 European Championships in Rotterdam. However, since then only American based Sahar Hirosh and Micah Deligdish have been showing at international Grand Prix level. Micah just bought herself a new horse in Handsome C, while Hirosh last showed his top ride, the now 20-year old Whitman, in February 2022. With new horse Bialik (by Wonderboy x Jazz) Sahar is yet to make his 2023 CDI show start. Ahorner has been competing Marshall Bell and Foco Loco W under the Israeli banner. With Zlatin a potential fourth rider would be available to form a team.
For Israel to qualify a team for Paris 2024 it needs to finish first at the Group C Olympic qualifier to be held at the CDI Pilisjaszfalu in June 2022.
Photo © Astrid Appels - Petra Kerschbaum
Nicola Ahorner Declares for Israel
Finalists for the 2022 Louisdor Cup in Frankfurt
Move Over Cosmo, Fendi is in Town - Rothenberger Back in Business
Austrian Horses Selected for 2019 World Young Horse Championships
Austrian Horses Selected for 2018 World Young Horse Championships
Scores: 2016 Bundeschampionate