American event rider Kim Severson has retired her Olympic silver medal-winning horse Winsome Adante. He is 14.
After finishing third at Badminton Horse Trials earlier this year, Winsome Adante suffered a strain to a hind suspensory ligament. A sound horse throughout his career, Kim attested the injury to his “rather ordinary confirmation” and his own wish to retire.
Kim attributes every bit of her success to this horse: “I did my first everything on him — first Badminton, Burghley, World Championships and Olympics.”
Winsome Adante, bred by Chris and Janet Gooch in Staffordshire, is by Saunter, a former racehorse. This was the Goochs’ first and only attempt at event horse breeding.
Early in his career Kim noticed Winsome Adante competing with Sarah Harrison in Britain. She encouraged Linda Wachtmeister to buy him for her to ride. The next time “Danny” returned to British soil was in 2001, when he won Blenheim.
Winsome Adante’s consistency in every phase became his trademark and allowed him to become an American team stalwart, winning team gold at the 2002 World Equestrian Games and team bronze at the Athens Olympics.
Winsome Adante is also the only horse to win Lexington three times since it became a four-star, triumphing in 2002, 2004 and 2005.
Despite his competition successes, Kim Severson said Winsome Adante could be a difficult horse at home.
“He seemed to get quirkier and spookier the older he got, dumping every groom, shying as he entered dressage arenas and being difficult to get on,” said Kim. “But I’ve really missed not having him about on the yard while he’s been off work this summer.”
Winsome Adante will spend his retirement in the field at his owner Linda Wachtmeister’s home in Virginia. He will be missed on the eventing circuit, not only by Kim who visits him weekly, but also by his many supporters.