German eventer Andreas Dibowski’s 2011 Luhm ¼hlen winner, Butts Leon – who was bought by Thailand’s Nina Ligon to ride at London 2012 – is back with his former rider.
The 15-year-old Hanoverian, who is by Heraldik, finished 41st at Greenwich with Nina. She was the youngest event rider – at 20 – in the competition and the first Asian woman to compete in Olympic eventing.
But Nina, who is based in Virginia, USA, is going to university for four years, and is selling her string.
Butts Leon was bought back for Andreas by Susanne and Holger Heigel. He is likely to compete at the top level and then be a schoolmaster for Andreas’ daughter Alina.
After buying Butts Leon last summer, Nina – who won the FEI’s HSBC Rising Star Award 2011 – said: “Even though it seems like [he] would be the horse to ride in the Olympics because of all that he’s done, well, just because Andreas gets those results, doesn’t mean I will!”
With Andreas, Butts Leon was part of the gold medal-winning German team in Hong Kong in 2008.
In Greenwich, “Buttsie” posted a 53.9 dressage score with Nina, went clear cross-country with 16 time-faults, but had a stop at the gate in the showjumping.
Nina’s mother, Pan Ligon, said at the time: “Was it a dirty stop by Butts? I would say no.
“Butts has been ridden all his life with such precision and skill. When Nina gets in on a half stride and not perfectly right, he does not tolerate any mistakes.”