Some sad news from the dressage world this week. On Monday, January 25, Dutch dressage star Blue Hors Matine was euthanized after breaking a leg in a pasture accident.
A while back, this video was circulating all over the Internet. I am not a dressage rider, but I found a link to this video several times in my inbox, sent to me by friends who are also not dressage riders. That fact alone is kind of impressive. This mare and this particular performance captivated the horse world. Where dressage is often compared to such thrilling events as paint drying, grass growing and cement setting, this video made dressage exciting to non-dressage riders, kind of like we’re seeing with Moorlands Totilas now.
It’s also interesting to note that Blue Hors Matine and her rider, Andreas Helgstrand didn’t even win the gold with this freestyle! They placed second behind, you guessed it, Anky van Grunsven and Salinero. But I’ll bet very few people have had a video of van Grunsven’s 2006 winning freestyle forwarded to them by every equestrian in their address book. This certainly was not the first or last time that the crowd favorite and the judges’ pick were not the same horse and rider team.
Blue Hors Matine was officially retired in 2009 after having been sidelined from competition with a tendon injury for quite some time. She was in foal and apparently due any day, which can only make the loss that much more devastating to her owners. It’s a sad reminder of how fragile our horses truly are, even those whose fame has made them immortal.
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