10 Dressage Greats We Said Farewell to in 2022

Mon, 12/26/2022 - 18:48
The moment the die was cast between rivals Satchmo (pictures) and Salinero at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong. Salinero won his second gold and third for Anky, Satchmo and Werth took silver :: Photo © Dirk Caremans

In 2022 the dressage world said goodbye to many dressage super stars, famous dressage ponies, as well as breeding stallions. 

Here are 10 of the most famous dressage horses that passed in 2022.

1. Salinero

28 years old - Hanoverian gelding by Salieri x Lungau

Anky van Grunsven's second career making dressage horse. First competed by Holger Schulze before selling to the U.S.A. for Ashley Holzer to ride. Salinero was swapped in a deal and became Anky's successor to Bonfire. Amongst many other medals at European Championships and in World Cup Finals, the pair won double gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong, writing history and making Anky van Grunsven to most successful Olympic dressage rider ever with three consecutive gold medals. Salinero retired in 2012 and loved another 10 years in retirement at home.  

Read the full Salinero lifestory here

2. Satchmo

28 years old - Hanoverian gelding by Sao Paulo x Legat

Satchmo and Salinero were career rivals. Discovered by Uwe Schulten-Baumer, the temperamental bay was trained to Grand Prix level by Isabell Werth and he succeeded Gigolo. They represented Germany at major championships from 2003 till 2011. Their career highlight came in 2006 when they won team gold, Grand Prix Special gold and Kur bronze at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen. At the 2008 Olympics they got team gold and individual silver. In 2011 Satchmo was slowly retired to the field at Isabell's yard in Rheinberg. 

Read the full Satchmo lifestory here

3. Bjorssels Briar

Bjorsells Briar at the 2008 Olympics
30 years old - Swedish warmblood stallion by Magini x Kroket. 

Jan Brink's career making Grand Prix horse. The pair won the Swedish Grand Prix Championships seven times. Briar was the youngest horse to compete in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games,  where he was fifth in the Grand Prix.  He got silver at the 2003 European Championships in Hickstead, and placed seventh in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. In 2005 he became the Aachen Grand Champion. He won team and individual bronze at the 2005 European Championships in Hagen. He was 8th and 9th at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen. In 2009 he was retired from sport and spent his retirement with owner and breeder Hans-Yngve Göransson.

Read the full Briar lifestory here

4. Deja

18 years old - Swedish warmblood mare by Silvano x Don Schufro

Patrik Kittel's 2016 Olympic team horse and successor to his career starting horse, Scandic. The pair competed at the 2015 European Championships and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Their career highlight was a fourth place at the 2018 World Cup Finals. Her sport career ended due to injury and she became a broodmare for her owner and breeder, Marie Haward.

Read the full Deja lifestory here

5. Pop Art

25 years old - Dutch warmblood gelding by Amsterdam x Cabochon

Ashley Holzer's Canadian Olympic team ride. The pair represented Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where they were 12th in the Kur to Music; at the 2009 World Cup Final in Las Vegas and 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington. He went on to be a schoolmaster for Holzer's student Jill Irving before his retirement from sport. . 

Read the full Pop Art lifestory here

6. Solos Carex

Tinne and Solos Carex at the 2010 CDI-W Gothenburg
29 year old - Danish warmblood gelding by Castro x Lagano.

Tinne Vilhelmson's career starting Grand Prix horse. They represented Sweden at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera and at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen. They were 6th in the 2007 World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, won team bronze and placed 6th individually at the 2007 European Championships in Turin. In 2008 he went to the Olympic Games in Hong Kong, where they were 12th in the Kur. He was retired from sport in 2009 and spent his retirement in the field at Caroline and Florian Darcourt's private stable in Sweden.

Read the full Solos Carex lifestory here

7. Equador MVL

13 years old - Lusitano stallion by Quo Vadis x Hostil

Career-starting Grand Prix horse for Portuguese Joao Torrao. The pair made its international Grand Prix debut in 2019. At the 2019 CDIO Hickstead they achieved 73.522% in the Grand Prix and 75.787% in the Special, leading Team Portugal to a first-ever, historic victory in the FEI Nations' Cup. They competed for Portugal at the 2019 European Championships and 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.  The Lusitano stallion did not survive an emergency surgery following a cervical injury. 

Read the full Equador lifestory here

8. Ludwig der Sonnenkönig

15 years old - Oldenburg stallion by London Swing x Liberator. 

The career starting Grand Prix horse for several dressage riders. With Danish Victoria Vallentin he won brone to the 2018 European Under 25 Championships, with Japanese Kazuki Sado he represented Japan on home turf at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo. He sold as a schoolmaster for Austrian Under 25 rider Nicola Ahorner, but passed away following a colic attack. 

Read the full Ludwig der Sonnenkönig lifestory here

9. Galopin de la Font

Galopin de la Font at the 2007 World Cup Finals
28 years old - Lusitano stallion by Espanto MTV x Zorro FRI

Daniel Pinto's career-making Grand Prix horse. They represented Portugal at the 2006 World Equestrian Games, 2007 World Cup Finals, 2007 and 2009 European Championships, 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong and 2010 World Equestrian Games. After a sport career he stood up for stud. The last years of his life he spent his retirement with Pinto in Arruda dos Vinhos, Portugal.

Read the full Galopin de la Font lifestory here

10. Millibar

21 years old - Danish warmblood gelding by Milan x Liberty Dane. 

Nanna Skodborg Merrald's career starting Grand Prix horse. The bay gelding took her from junior level into the senior Grand Prix division. They won team silver and kur gold at the 2011 European Junior Riders Championships. In 2013 they won the Danish Under 25 Championships and at the CDIO Aachen they scored a double victory in the Under 25 division. As a senior pair they qualified for the 2014 World Cup Finals in Lyon, but the horse got injured there and never fully recovered. He was officially retired from sport in 2017 and spent his retirement at home in the field.

Read the full Millibar lifestory here 

Goodbye to these dressage horses, stallions and ponies

Other international Grand Prix horses that passed in 2022 are Lord Locksley (Susanne Hamilton), Ravels (Airisa Penele), Bluebarry Dream (Young Shik Hwang), Kupfermann (Wieger de Boer, Maria Ines Garcia), Laetare (Polina Afanasieva), Radames (Akane Kuroki), What a Feeling (Ismail Jilaoui), Ein Traum (Borja Carrascosa, Paulina Holzknecht), Mio d'Baugy (Johan Zagers, Andrea Landy-Silling), and para WEG dressage horse Cil Dara Cosmic

Youth riders horses such as Brilliant (Sophia Obel), Capriciella (Anna Zibrandtsen), Honnerups Event (Lauren Asher), Bomerang (Beatrice Ivarsson), Timor (Alexa Fairchild, Lea Bonifay), Equestricons Walkure (Dana van Lierop), and pony partners such as Dulcia, Domino Dancing, Caesar 171

Breeding stallions that left are Don Frederico, Sunny-BoyLondontime, Zhivago, Lord Loxley, HemmingwayFlorencianoDressage RoyalRamiro's Bube,  U-Genius, DelamangaIron, Il Divo, as well as famous broodmares Poesie and Bogegardens Don Romina