Harmonia, Esther Soldi's career making dressage horse and member of the Italian dressage team in the 2010s, has passed away. She was 24 years old.
Harmonia was a Polish warmblood mare by Lord Alexander out of Haga (by Hars). She was bred at the Lubelski Klub Jezdziecki in Lublin, Poland
Harmonia was bred in the stable where Polish Grand Prix rider Anna Lukasik (now Mierzwinska) boarded her horses. A 16-year old Anna bought the mare as a 4-year old in 2003 and put her in training with coach Olga Michalik.
The bay mare made its national and international show debut in 2008 in Wroclaw, where Anna competed her in the young riders' classes. At the 2008 Polish Indoor Dressage Championship they were fourth. Lukasik also achieved silver at the Polish Young Riders Championships and a bronze at the senior indoor championship.
As of 2009, Olga Michalik competed Harmonia at international Grand Prix level. They made their debut at the 2009 CDI Mierzecin in June 2009, winning the Grand Prix Special with 66.125% and travelled to Brno, and Falsterbo.
Michalik was nominated on the Polish team for the 2009 European Championships in Windsor and placed 52nd with 60.596% in the Grand Prix.
Sold to Italy
In the winter of 2009-2010 Italian Grand Prix rider and former eventing rider Ester Soldi purchased the 11-year old Harmonia from Anna Lukasik, who had ended her collaboration with Olga and decided to sell the horse. Soldi was in need of a successor for her Grand Prix horse, Lobtonice (DWB, by Aarking xx x Mago xx) and found one in Harmonia.
Trained by Enzo and Valentina Truppa, the new pair made its CDI debut in May 2010 in Lipica, scoring 63.277% in the Grand Prix. From there they went to Vidauban, Pompadour, Strassen, Turin, and Salzburg
Italian Team Horse
The combination represented Italy at the 2011, 2013, and 2015 European Dressage Championships after a controversial team selection both in 2013 and yet again in 2015 as Soldi was unable to achieve the FISE selection criteria on time, but got nominated nonetheless.
In 2011 in Rotterdam they were 59th in the Grand Prix with 61.292%, in 2013 in Herning they were 62nd with 61.900%, and in 2015 in Aachen they were 60th with 65.029%.
In 2014 they represented Italy at the World Equestrian Games in Caen, France, and scored 66.300% in the Grand Prix to place 69th.
In 2017, Soldi and the 18-year old Harmonia qualified for their fourth European Championships in Gothenburg at shows in Nice, Caselle di Sommacampagna, Lipica, but after the CDI Crozet in France, the mare did not cope well with the travel and she was withdrawn as the sole individual Italian combination that was meant to go to Gothenburg.
At national level, the duo was a regular faces at the Italian Dressage Championships and collected 15 medals in totals over the years. The Italian Nationals always award two sets of medals, for the technical tests and for the freestyle. In 2010 they earned double silver, in 2013 they won silver and bronze, in 2014 they were fourth, in 2015 there was kur bronze, in 2016 there was double silver, in 2017 there was kur bronze.
After having competed in no less than 128 CDI dressage tests with Soldi, spanning an international Grand Prix career of 9 years (2009 - 2017), Harmonia ended her FEI show career. Their last CDI was in Salzburg in December 2017, where they scored 65.800 in the Grand Prix and 69.920% in the Kur.
On 20 June 2023, Harmonia passed away after suffering from a severe colic attack.
"Today a wonderful part of my life left, my heart horse Harmonia," Soldi took to Facebook. "The pain is strong but the memories are so many and beautiful that I want to be grateful for having had you with me for 24 years. You brought me to the forefront of all fields of Europe, making me known Internationally. You built my career as a rider and instructor. Everything I teach young horses today I owe to you, you have been an example of strength, tenacity, determination, composition that I want to bring as an instructor to my students today."
Soldi told Eurodressage, “she was the love of my life but will survive in my heart.”
Photos © Astrid Appels
Eurodressage Photo Database: Harmonia
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