Mette Assouline's Thurengeti Stallion Forrest Gump Passed Away

Mon, 09/25/2023 - 14:32
Mette Assouline and Forrest Gump at the 2012 CDI Compiegne :: Photo © Astrid Appels

The former international Grand Prix horse and Thurengeti stallion Forrest Gump has passed away. He was 22 years old

Forrest Gump was a Westfalian bred stallion by Florestan out of Donnergirl (by Donnerhall x Pik Bube I x Pontius). He was bred by Heinrich Wulhorst. 

Licensed Stallion

The bay stallion first came into the spotlight when he was competed as a 3-year old by Annika Geers and Kirs de Doncker. He sold at the Westfalian auction as a price highlight. 

He was licensed at the 2005 Westfalian stallion licensing as a 4-year old and did his 20-day stallion performance test in Munster-Handorf in March 2005. He completed his licensing criteria through sport in Great Britain. 

Mette Assouline

He moved to Great Britain in 2006 and was first shown by Verity Boys, before Mette Lubker-Assouline took over the ride in 2007. 

The pair did its first national Prix St Georges tests in 2009, moved to Intermediaire II level in 2010 and rode their first Grand Prix test in January 2011. They finished 8th and 11th at the 2011 British National Grand Prix Championship The pair competed at national Grand Prix level until 2012

The pair's international career began at the 2011 CDI Compiegne and they competed at Hartpury, Hickstead, and Saumur that year. In 2012 they did two more CDI's: in Addington and Compiegne. 

Leased to NRW

Auctioneer Volker Raulf with Forrest
Gump in the Thurengeti
(Photo © Thoms Lehmann)
2012 was the last year Forrest Gump competed and he moved back to Germany leased to the Warendorf state stud as a breeding stallion. 


The breeders did not take much notice of him in Warendorf and in 2016 Heinz Bley took over the management of the 15-year old stallion. He joined the Thurengeti project. 

The Thurengeti project is led by Crawinkel mayor Heinz Bley and had been running for over twenty years.  German bred sport horses live in total freedom in a natural reserve of 2500 acres. There are approximately 700 horses and 700 cows living in blissful freedom and peace in the wild on this lush land in East Germany. Forrest Gump spent a life in freedom there in herds. Other breeding stallions in the project are/were Farbenspiel (by Florenciano x Dimension),  Formidabel (by Friedensfurst/T x Warkant), Mistral (by Millenium x Desperados), the late Fiano (by Fidermark x Fruhlingsball), and Don Fürst (by Dinard L x Fruhlingstraum II).

In the last few months Forrest Gump developed dental issues and it was decided in the horse's best interest to put him down.

Photos © Astrid Appels - Thoms Lehmann

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