Horse who won nine medals steps down a level: ‘Championships are exhausting’

  • The reigning world eventing champion Opgun Louvo will not contest any more championships, his German rider Sandra Auffarth has decided after “careful consideration”.

    “‘Wolle’ is in great shape and we had a very good start into the season,” said Sandra. “Nevertheless championships are very exhausting and I don’t want Wolle to compete in such events any more.

    “Wolle has won nine medals at five championships and I’m more than proud of my once in a lifetime horse.”

    Opgun Louvo retires

    Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo finishing second in the CCI4* at Luhmühlen in 2011. Picture by Peter Nixon

    Sandra’s decision means that Opgun Louvo will definitely not defend his 2014 World Equestrian Games title at the Games in Tryon this September. The pair had been named among the first group of reserves for the German squad. Sandra does have Viamant Du Matz listed among the second reserve group.

    Opgun Louvo, who is now 16, will compete at Aachen (17-22 July).

    “Now I’m looking forward to Aachen — the CHIO will be our annual highlight! Wolle loves the Aachener Soers and we have had so much success at that special event. We have won the Nations Cup five times and our personal highlight was winning the individual ranking in 2014. In the other years we were also placed second, third and fourth in the individual ranking,” said Sandra. “Let’s see what this year will bring, we are more than motivated!”

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    Sandra and Opgun Louvo first made an impression on the international scene when they finished second in the CCI4* at Luhmühlen in 2011. Later that year they won team gold and individual silver at the European Championships at the same venue.

    The pair went on to represent Germany at two Olympics (team gold and individual bronze at London 2012; team silver at Rio 2016), one World Equestrian Games (team and individual gold at Caen 2014) and another European Championships (team gold and individual silver at Blair 2015).

    The pair also finished fourth on their only appearance at Badminton, in 2013.

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