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‘My best friend’: farewell to young horse world champion

The 2019 young horse world champion Zucchero OLD has died after suffering a severe bout of colic.

The winner of last year’s six-year-old world championship, who was by Glock’s Zonik x Prince Thatch, was due to turn seven in May. Zucchero was ridden and trained by Hof Kasselmann’s rider Frederic Wandres, who rode him to a euphoric victory at the World Championships for Young Dressage Horses in Ermelo, the Netherlands, last August.

“He was my best horse partner and my best horse friend,” said Frederic, who won the 2018 Olympia freestyle riding Duke Of Britain. “I remember, many, if not all, of the moments we had together, from the first ride as a three-year-old to the first time in a double bridle.”

“I have never had a horse like this; it is difficult for me to go on without him,” continued the German rider. “The special memories remain for ever. Thank you to everyone who contributed to making our time together special and gave everything until the end.”

The brown stallion, approved with the Oldenburg and Hanoverian studbooks, was bred by Hans-Heinrich Brüning, and in December 2017 was sold at the PSI auction for €370,000 to an Asian investors group, Star Horses.

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He and Frederic represented Germany at the 2018 World Championships for Young Dressage Horses, finishing fourth in the five-year-old final.

They returned in 2019 to contest the six-year-old championship, earing 9.4 for walk, 9.7 for trot, 9.7 for canter, 9.7 for submission and 9.8 for general impression, generating a total score of 9.66 which elevated them above the previous year’s five-year-old champion Revolution, ridden by Andreas Helgstrand, the hot favourite for this title.

“On the days before Ermelo, I rode him on the canter track, without a saddle, just to keep him fresh and supple,” said Frederic after landing this title. “He is easy to train and has a natural talent for the passage and piaffe.”

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