Farewell to Olympic dressage star Giorgione

  • Giorgione- Dr Wilfried Bechtolsheimer’s former grand prix horse – has been put down just shy of his 31st birthday after a severe attack of colic.

    The horse took 25-year-old Carl Hester to his first Olympics – where they ranked 16th individually and posted the highest British score.

    Dr Bechtolsheimer, who discovered the horse at small tour in Germany as an eight-year-old, said: “We will miss this wonderful horse, friend and partner, to whom we owe so much.

    “He was the first horse I trained to grand prix and our first horse to compete at an Olympic Games.”

    The Bechtolsheimers’ proud moment came in 1992 when the 11-year-old “Gino”, an Oldenburg licensed stallion (Grundstein I/Perser xx) and Carl competed at Barcelona.

    The previous year Giorgione delivered Carl’s first national championship title and repeated the feat in 1992.

    In 1994, “Dr B” took the ride back, representing Britain at the 1995 European Championships and standing reserve for the Atlanta Olympics a year later.

    “As a little girl, Laura just loved to sit on him piaffing, maybe that’s where her feel and love for dressage started,” added Dr Bechtolsheimer.

    This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (19 January 2012)

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