US Olympic dressage team alternate Otto has been withdrawn from the squad and instead of heading to London will head for a green pasture.
Ridden by Todd Flettrich, the 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding was withdrawn from Olympic consideration by owner Margaret Duprey of Wellington, Florida.
Instead, Otto is headed for a life of turnout and relaxation.
“I am giving back to him what he has given to us,” she said. “We made a decision before the [USEF Dressage Selection] trials that we would retire him after the Games. We think it’s time now.”
Flettrich, who has been Otto’s rider for the past several years, agreed. “In my eyes he is a superstar,” Flettrich said. “He has been a Grand Prix horse for so many years. Where else can he go? What else can he do? He rose to the occasion of the Olympic trials. There is nothing else for him to prove.”
Now that he has earned his retirement, Otto will spend time with his equine buddies at Duprey’s Cherry Knoll Farm in Pennsylvania. She said his pasture mates include well-known horses like Amadeus, Chappell, Dueling Oak and Cooper, her retired jumper.
Flettrich said he is going to enjoy spending some time in Pennsylvania helping Duprey and other students get ready for the fall show season. He plans to return to Wellington in November.
As for her future plans, Duprey said they will consider their options. “We need to take a deep breath and regroup,” she said. “We need some time.”