Anna Abbelen's Sam Donnerhall Stays in the U.S.A. as Schoolmaster

Mon, 04/22/2024 - 17:10
Anna Christina Abbelen and Sam Donnerhall at the 2024 CDIO Wellington :: Photos © Astrid Appels

German professional dressage rider Anna Christina Abbelen has left her Grand Prix horse Sam Donnerhall in the U.S.A. after the 2024 Global Dressage Festival. The 17-year old gelding has been sold as a schoolmaster. 

Sam Donnerhall is a 2007 born Oldenburger gelding by Samarant out of Dolce-Vita (by Donnerhall x Pib Bube II), bred by Christoph Boulanger.  

From France to Sweden

He was discovered as a 5-year old by French rider Anthony Astier, who trained the horse up to Grand Prix level.  Astier and the dark bay gelding began competing in France in 2012. In 2015 the horse moved to national Grand Prix level. They skipped 2016 and returned in 2017 with national starts in Le Mans, Haras Le Pin, Rosieres, Vierzon, Deauville, Compiegne, and then their first CDI, the 2017 CDI Saumur in September.

In November 2017, Astier took Sam Donnerhall to Isabell Werth, where he was developed and sold to Swedish Isabelle Tovek in February 2018. Tovek made her international show debut on the dark bay gelding in the Under 25 division at the 2018 CDIO Uggerhalne in May and competed him through 2019 at shows in Falsterbo, 's Hertogenbosch, and Vilhelmsborg. Tovek's last international with Sam Donnerhall was the CDI-U25 in Falsterbo in July 2019

Anna Christine Abbelen

With Tovek at the 2018 CDIO Uggerhalne
Tovek sent Sam Donnerhall to Helgstrand Dressage to be sold, but that did not happen, and she then allocated the ride to Anna Christine Abbelen in May 2021. Anna had just retired her Under 25 horse Henny Hennessy and Sam Donnerhall became the horse that took her into the senior Grand Prix division. The Abbelen family bought him from Tovek.

The new duo debuted at the 2021 CDI Herzlake in the medium tour and three months later competed in the U25 tour at the CDI Ludwigsburg. As of 2022 they moved up into the senior ranks and competed at CDI's in Lierp, Stuttgart, Wellington and West Palm Beach, Hagen, Munich,Crozet and Wroclaw.

They represented German in the CDIO Nations' Cup in Wellington, Rotterdam and Falsterbo. Their last show was at the end of the 2024 Wellington season, where they won the Kur to Music.

Grand Prix Schoolmaster

Abbelen did not ship Sam Donnerhall back to Europe but sold him as a Grand Prix schoolmaster to Wellington based Canadian Chloe Gasiorowski. 

"They had shown interest during season and after my last freestyle they asked again and I said they can come for a try out. It went perfectly," Abbelen told Eurodressage. "I liked them as potential new owners a lot and knew upfront that whenever I come back to Europe I would not show him on big big CDI's anymore, so as Sam  is still at his fittest ever I assumed he might like to stay in the warm weather getting a new role as a schoolmaster for Chloe. And it seems to work out perfectly."

Gasiorowski on Du Vin at the 2024 CDN Wellington
Anna is thrilled that her Sam found a new home with 31-year old Gasiorowski.

"I owe Sam everything," she said. "How far i’ve come and we positioned strongly for my young age in the FEI World Ranking. Twice top 50 last year and this year. Now it’s time for new beginnings with top young horses and knowing that Sam has a 5* home with the new owners made this huge step a little easier."

Abbelen moves on with her KWPN mare Jida Selly A. Gasiorowski has made her international show debut at small tour level in 2020 on Floratina (by Fidertanz x Rubin Royal - now with U.S. paralympian Rebecca Hart). In 2022 and 2023 she competed Dimacci DC (by Dimaggio x Rubinstein) at small tour level.

Photos © Astrid Appels - Sue Stickle

Related Links
Anna Abbelen Takes Over Ride on Tovek's Sam Donnerhall, Henny Hennessy Retired
Isabella Tovek Acquires Astier's Sam Donnerhall