A few posts have come across my Facebook feed this week that made me realize we are witnessing a changing of the guard in Canadian dressage. Several of our top level horses are retiring from elite competition and / or moving on to new owners, making room at the top for fresh talent.
Belinda Trussell shared a lovely post this week about the difficult decision to retire her Olympic partner Anton. "When I came home from the Olympics, the questions about Anton’s next steps kept entering my mind. Along with all the emotions! My gut told me our time together in top sport competition was over. What more can I ask of a horse that has been to 2 World Championships, 1 Pan American Games, an Olympic Games and set new records for Canadian dressage? In Rio, he gave me everything he was born with in the ring. My heart told me to stop while he is at the top. He deserves to finish his International career as the top Canadian dressage horse." Belinda happily reported that Anton is being leased to her student Abbey Simbrow and his enjoying his new role as professor of dressage.
Belinda also posted a sales video recently for Chrevi's Capital, best known as David Marcus' mount at the 2012 Olympics in London. Though we haven't seen him competing much in the big ring lately, this superb athlete has a lot to offer as an upper level schoolmaster. I do hope he goes to a Canadian rider who can take advantage of everything he has to teach. (Truthfully, I hope I win the lottery so I can snatch him up for myself!).
Karen Pavicic bid an emotional farewell to her Grand Prix partner Don Daquiri as he moves on to lucky new owners and a new career. "Today I did not say goodbye to my heart horse Don Daiquiri, but instead 'see you soon my friend.' We have spent countless loving hours together over the past 9 years and it has been worth every moment. I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to have this once in a lifetime horse in my life (thank you Jayne Essig). Dono has greatly impacted my life, taught me many lessons that I am grateful for, and fulfilled many of my lifetime goals. He is an extraordinary horse and he will have a place in my heart forever. Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported Dono and I over the years, it is truly appreciated!!! Congratulations to the new owners, Beth Palmgren and Sahar Daniel Hirosh and thank you for honouring and respecting everything that Don Daiquiri has to offer you on your journey together. I am looking forward to seeing what the future brings and I am happy to help and support you along the way."
In related news, Chris von Martels recently announced that Divertimento, the Grand Prix gelding he leased from Tinne Vilhelmsom for the Olympic qualifying season, has been sold to new owners as well. "We are so pleased to have found him a wonderful home and look forward to seeing him bring as much joy and success to his new rider! Here's to a great 2017!"
These horses have provided dressage fans with some marvelous memories to cherish and though it's sad to think we won't see them competing with their famous riders, I love the care and respect the riders and owners are showing for these horses by retiring them from elite competition at the top of their games. By allowing these special horses to share their talents as schoolmasters, the riders and owners are supporting future of dressage in Canada and hopefully, helping make more riders' dreams come true.
As for Belinda, Karen and Chris...well they won't be out of the spotlight for long. Chris has his PanAm mount Zilverstar waiting in the wings, among others. I'm very excited to watch the progress of Belinda's up-and-coming gelding Tattoo, and Karen Pavicic's young Totilas stallion, Totem.
Who else are we likely to see in the GP ring in the next few years? Both Jaimey and Tina Irwin are poised to make a big splash. Jacqueline Brooks has a handsome Negro youngster currently showing at Fourth Level. Though Caravella is still at the top of her game, Megan Lane has some serious talent in the barn, including the lovely San D'Or. There are many, many more...too many to mention here. The future looks pretty bright for Canadian dressage!
About the author
I'm a middle-aged, overweight, rusty re-rider who refuses to let any of that get in the way of my passion for dressage.