Isabell Werth's gold horse Satchmo is dead. The gelding, who won gold at European Championships, World Championships and the Olympic Games, dies at the age of 28. Despite his challenges, he was one of the favorite horses of the most successful rider in the world.
Isabell Werth mourns the loss of her former top horse Satchmo. The 28-year-old Hanoverian gelding died on Saturday one day after his owner left for the World Championships training camp. "The fact that I couldn't be with you at this moment weighs particularly heavily in my heart after 25 years together," Werth wrote about a black and white photo of her and Satchmo on Instagram: "Have a nice trip, my great, brilliant fighter And thanks for everything." The not always easy gelding was one of the favorite horses of the most successful rider in the world.
"Satchi" came to Rheinberg in Isabell Werth's stables at the age of three, until then the rather delicate bay was considered almost unrideable. "I don't know anyone who has ever dealt with a horse as much as Isabell with Satchmo," said Werth's longtime friend and patron Madeleine Winter-Schulze about the very special rider-horse pairing. It seemed that Satchmo saw ghosts, he always shied away for no apparent reason, a career in sport was almost impossible.
With the help of many experts, Werth found out the cause of the problem: floating particles in the fluid inside the eye fooled Satchmo into making movements that nobody but him noticed. An operation helped, and from then on the way was clear for Werth and Satchmo. In 2006, Werth won the Grand Prix Special World Championship with "Satchi" in Aachen. "This horse," she said at the time, "taught me humility."
And it cost her an Olympic victory that she thought was safe. In 2008 at the Equestrian Games in Hong Kong, Werth led by a hair's breadth ahead of her Dutch rival Anky van Grunsven before the decisive freestyle. Satchmo completed the first part of the program in true world class - and then refused the piaffe pirouette, choosing to walk backwards. Gold went to van Grunsven for the third time in a row with the no less brilliant Salinero.