Carl Hester’s popular grand prix partner Dolendo has been put down aged 21.

The 17.2hh chestnut gelding, by Donnerhall, died on 13 July.

Dolendo joined Olympic medallist Carl’s yard when he was a three-year-old. He was initially ridden by Carl’s pupil and former partner Spencer Wilton.

The gelding was part owned by Carl with Ann Cory.

Under Spencer Dolendo won the intermediate I at the 2003 and 2004 British Championships.

The partnership then hit the spotlight taking the National Championships in September 2007.

The pair finished second in the freestyle where Dolendo was a little tense, but his previous day’s grand prix win was enough for them to take the overall title.

Later that year the ride was taken over by Carl, Spencer’s trainer.

With Carl Dolendo was shortlisted for the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong, but was ruled out due to a small injury.

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At the time Carl told H&H that it was “not career threatening” but that the horse needed time to recover.

Carl then suffered a second blow when injury struck his second horse, Lecantos, ruling the Gloucestershire-based rider out of the 2008 Games.

Dolendo’s last international show was in 2010.

In his retirement he lived with Classic Dressage’s Julia Hornig, for whom he acted as a school master.

However, in latter months he had severe arthritis in his neck, which led to the decision to put him down earlier this month.

  • Kate

    Horses have to die of something. 21 is a good age for a large warmblood and carl takes better care of his horses than anyone! Moneybox, all you say whenever you comment is how cruel someone has been, how you aren’t surprised etc etc. I just lost a horse due to a freak accident in the field. Am I cruel for turning him out?? Every one of your comments on these articles is picking someone to threads.

  • herevoluntarily

    Sorry to disappoint the critics of what’s happened with Dolendo but severe arthritis in the neck can occur from factors other than riding. I have a WB of my own that has quite bad arthritis at C4 & C5 from an old injury. it will indeed eventually affect him to the point of possible euthanasia. He has never been ridden deep & round.

  • Moneybox

    Years of performing extortion with a forced and over- bent neck; is it any wonder?

  • Lisa Lanfear

    Severe arthritis in his neck .? You dont need to be a rocket scientist to work out why do you.