Potential Olympic horses removed from online auction after public outcry

  • Sportpferde Galleria has withdrawn three potential Olympic horses, Galleria’s Bohemian, Rossetti and Vincent Maranello, from a proposed auction after backlash.

    The German company had been hoping to arrange a sale before the 15 January 2024 deadline on horse nationality changes for the Olympics – a representative told H&H that with this date approaching, and the age of the horses, now was the best time to make a sale.

    It was announced yesterday (26 October) that an online auction would be held for the horses, of whom Bohemian is the most prominent and whose sale has caused the most controversy. This plan has now changed.

    The 13-year-old gelding and fan favourite was fourth at the Tokyo Olympics under Cathrine Dufour, scoring 87.5% in the freestyle. He also won two bronze medals and one silver at the 2021 European Dressage Championships in Hagen.

    In January 2023, Bohemian was sold to Sportpferde Galleria, an exclusive German sales yard established by South Korean Olympian Dong Seon Kim.

    Bohemian was intended to be Dong Seon Kim’s ride at the 2024 Paris Olympics, but in July this year he announced that he was stepping away from the sport and that Bohemian, Rossetti and Vincent Maranello, were for sale.

    Bohemian’s current rider, Patrik Kittel, said he had heard there was to be an online auction.

    “Poor Bohemian… [I’ve] been really working to try to save him from this with sponsors or to find him a good home,” he said. “They asked me if [I] wanted to do the auction but even the thought of having lots of people riding Bo, [who] is super sensitive, made me feel sick.”

    The Galleria Sportpferde representative had no comment on Patrik’s post but told H&H: “We never want anything bad for our horses.”

    Patrik’s post provoked significant backlash, and the representative told H&H plans for the auction have since been cancelled owing to the reaction. The owners are once again seeking a private sale.

    “I had the honour to ride Bohemian only shortly but in this time you captured my heart and showed me in Herning what a champion you are when you trust someone,” said Patrik, referring to the pair’s wins in the grand prix and grand prix special at the CDI3* in Herning last week (21 – 22 October).

    “I pray you get a good home where you can feel safe and loved.”

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...