Australian Paralympic gold medal winning horse Worldwide PB has been retired after competing at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy.
Ridden by Joann Formosa in Grade Ib, Worldwide PB is now 20 years old and ended his competition career with a ninth place finish with 67.0 in the freestyle contest at WEG.
Worldwide PB is a truly international horse who was bred in Germany – [the ‘PB’ denotes the fact that he is privately and not state bred]. The licenced and approved hanoverian stallion was imported from Germany to New Zealand as a young horse by Wanganui studmaster Berny Maubach, of Vollrath Stud. By the Weltmeyer stallion Weltbuerger and from the Brentano II mare Bella, Worldwide was bred by Werner Heitgress. He was used extensively as a stallion at Vollrath, and had an impressive ridden career with Maubach’s wife, Jutta Rosenblatt. The pair won the NZ National Novice Championship and Medium Horse of the Year title, and competed to the level of Prix St George, before being sold Australian rider Claire Seidl-Wickens in 2006.
Formosa bought the stallion in early 2012. The Paralympic Games at London in 2012, where they won Grade Ib gold, was their first international competition together.
Worldwide was approved as a breeding stallioon by the Hanoverian Horse Society of Australia in 2009. He had been provisionally licensed in December 1996, and ranked 16/40 for rideability in his 100-day performance test in Adelheidsdorf. He did not reach the necessary 90 points for registration with the New Zealand Hanoverian Society due to his jumping under saddle.
Berny Maubach, who imported the stallion to New Zealand said: “My feeling for this young un-named stallion in 1996 and my consequent stubbornness to resist and not submit to the Verband’s decree – ‘you can’t have him as he failed his performance test’; in my book under dubious circumstances – paid off.”
For WEG 2014, Formosa had prepared a new Freestyle, especially suited to Worldwide’s personality. “He’s getting on in age and he was a bit tired today. Every ride with him is a good one so I can’t complain. I love him to bits,” the rider said afterwards.
In the Grade Ib team test, the combination finished 7th individually, and 8th in the individual championship.
In the below video, filmed on the eve of Worldwide PB’s final international competition, Joann Formosa talks about her WEG journey.