‘Thank you for everything’: medal-winning eventer retires after losing an eye

  • German eventer Julia Krajewski’s five-star winner Samourai Du Thot has been retired from competition after losing an eye.

    The 15-year-old gelding’s phenomenal eventing career boasts 18 international wins from 56 starts, two national championship titles and Olympic team silver.

    Julia, who produced the 2017 Luhmühlen CCI4* (now CCI5*) winner from a young horse and partnered him throughout his stellar career, said she is devastated.

    “He got struck by a very severe infection and battled it tremendously, but sadly wasn’t able to completely beat it. To save his life, his left eye had to be removed,” she said.

    “He has shown me many times how much of a fighter he is, but seeing how he always kept his spirits and never gave up during the hardest of times for him, leaves me even more in awe of my little pocket rocket.”

    Julia added they achieved “more than could ever be hoped for” when she first got him as a “cheeky” five-year-old.

    Rio Olympics reserve

    Julia Krajewski and Samourai du Thot during the first trot-up at the Rio Olympics. Picture by Peter Nixon

    The combination finished in the top five 40 times at international events, including claiming third at Luhmühlen CCI5* the year before their win, and won back-to-back German national championships in 2018 and 2019. They won six CCI4*-L/S together, including multiple Luhmühlens, where they secured their national titles, Chatsworth, Strzegom, Arville and Boekelo.

    They were on the silver medal-winning team at Rio 2016 and also represented Germany at the European Championships the following year.

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    “I would have loved to cruise round some more cross-country courses with him and hoped for a happy ending to the very last, but it wasn’t meant to be. Thank you, Sam, for everything you gave for me,” Julia added.

    “Despite everything he is in fairly good spirits now and we will make sure that he gets the sort of retirement life that suits him.”

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