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Farewell Gino

last updated on January 31, 2012 16:16

Farewell Gino

The sport lost one of it's great Grand Prix stars over the New Year break. Dr Wilfried Bechtolsheimer’s Giorgione was put to sleep after a major attack of colic just short of his 31st birthday on 29 December. Gino, as the B’s called him at home, was the horse who launched Carl Hester’s illustrious dressage career while he was with the Bechtolsheimers as a stable jockey. He gave a 25 year-old Carl his first Olympic ride in 1992 – something that Carl will never forget.

In 1994, Wilfried took the reins back and the combination represented Britain at the 1995 European Championships and was reserve for the Atlanta Olympics a year later.
Foaled in 1981, Gino was bred by Ernst Ivermeyer. He was by Grundstein I out of the mare Polonaise (by Perser). He was left entire and licensed by the Oldenburg society although he only covered a limited number of mares. Most notable is the advanced mare Gryffindor who competed at the Young Rider Championships for Germany and is now back in Britain to compete with junior rider Charlotte Gill.
Dr B fondly recalls him as a horse of firsts; “He was the first horse I trained to Grand Prix level, he was our first horse to compete at the Olympics, I rode him in my first Grand Prix for Britain at Hickstead, where I came first and I rode in my first International championship on him.”
Carl Hester is not the only rider’s career Gino started…Wilfried explains; “As a little girl, Laura just loved to sit on him piaffing, maybe that’s where her feel and love for dressage started.”
He sums up; “We will miss this wonderful horse, friend and partner, to whom we owe so much.”