H&H’s para horse of the day: the six-year-old stallion his first championship – ‘He’s an old soul’

  • Roxanne Trunnell had good reason to be nervous coming into today’s grade I individual competition at the Orifarm Healthcare FEI World Para Dressage Championships. The USA rider, who scooped Paralympic gold last year with Dolton, brought forward a new ride here: the six-year-old Floriscount x Rascalino stallion Fortunato H20, whom she has been riding for just two months.

    This young stallion may only have one international show under his belt so far, but he behaved like a total pro in the buzzy BB Horse Arena this afternoon, his coat glinting deep copper in the Danish summer sun as he and Roxanne cruised to score of 72.57% for sixth in the World Para Dressage Championships results.

    Fortunato is a compact chap with a high quality walk, and Roxanne rides him quietly, using her experience to expertly ease him through the complicated walk programme. Roxanne came to gain the ride on him via her USA teammate Kate Shoemaker, whose trainer Lehua Custer owns Fortunato.

    Roxanne’s top horse Dolton is enjoying some downtime this year, ahead of targeting the Paris Paralympics, so it was Fortunato’s time to step up and he duly responded.

    “He was a bit scared of the judge’s boxes, but he really tried,” said Roxanne, explaining that while Fortunato is something of an “old soul” to ride, he can be babyish and “goofy” in the stable at home.

    “He thinks about things a lot, but at home he is very much a baby – he’s goofy and always wants to play,” she said.

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