‘I’m a better person because of you’: farewell to grand prix mare after battle with laminitis

Sophie Wells’ grand prix mare Diadeem (Dime) has died following a battle with laminitis.
The 11-year-old was diagnosed with laminitis at the beginning of August, shortly after her last competitive outing at the Hartpury CPEDI in July, and was put down on Sunday (22 September).

The Westenwind daughter, whom Sophie bought from the Netherlands in April 2018, competed in both para and able-bodied dressage up to grand prix with multiple Paralympic gold medallist Sophie.

The pair achieved good results internationally in grade V para ranks, and made their grand prix debut at Somerford Premier League this year with plus-67%.

After claiming two thirds at the Hartpury international in July, Sophie decided to prioritise the mare’s talent for the grand prix work over her para dressage career.

Your talent was for grand prix and that was the plan after Hartpury, and I’m so sad you will never be able to show anyone how amazing I knew you would be,” said Sophie in a moving tribute to her mare. “I’m a better rider, trainer and person because of you and I will always be grateful for the time I was lucky enough to ride you and have you in my life to help me. Thank you.”

“The past six weeks have been tough, but the past week was completely horrendous to see you in so much pain. Sitting with you for hours on end trying to comfort you, I felt helpless,” added Sophie, who recently led the British para dressage team to silver at the European Championships in Rotterdam.

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“I wasn’t ready to say goodbye on Sunday… I still expect to see your big ears when I walk round the corner.

“A massive thank you to my farrier Mark Connole and vet Matthew Barlow for being on call every day and trying everything possible to help her. Laminitis is evil.”

“Now you are free from the pain and can piaffe, eat bananas and gallop to your heart’s content.”

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