Sad loss of leading US dressage pony Poldy 10

Bebe Davis and Poldy 10.
Bebe Davis and Poldy 10.

The many admirers of leading dressage pony Poldy 10 are mourning the loss of the 18-year-old, who died unexpectedly late last month.

PS Dressage revealed that Poldy 10 has sustained a rectal team which led to the early stages of a septic abdominal infection. Veterinarians felt he could not be saved.

Earlier ridden by Barbara “Bebe” Davis to several national titles, he won the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship with Katrina Sadis in April.

Bred by Karl Mittmann in Germany, the Westphalian bred son of Platello (ex Loni by Wirbelwind) was successful in Europe with several riders before his importation to the US.

“From the second he walked into the arena, I was in love,” said Barbara “Bebe” Davis, recalling the first time she saw the German Riding Pony.

Every rider searches for that once-in-a-lifetime equine, and once found they are remembered forever.  Sixteen-year-old Davis found that perfect match in Poldy 10, and achieved major victories with him in the show ring before eventually donating him to Dressage4Kids to give more riders the enjoyment of Poldy’s talent and affection.

Davis, a champion dressage student at Piaffe Performance Farm, first met Poldy 10 in Germany in 2011. The two clicked immediately, and by 2012 were together raking in dressage wins across the USA. The pair’s accomplishments include being named 2012 US FEI Dressage Pony Champion.

“I knew that he would make a huge impact on my competitive career the first time I sat on him while we were in Germany,” Davis remembers. “He was nothing like any pony I had ever ridden. He was so willing and pleased to work and he genuinely enjoyed his job. Every time we went in the arena together he gave me 100 percent, and I am so grateful for that.”

Bebe Davis and Poldy 10.
Bebe Davis and Poldy 10.

As Davis began to outgrow Poldy in the fall of 2013, she knew that he was too special to even consider retiring him. Instead, Davis donated Poldy and her other pony Bohdjan, who was named the 2012 US FEI Pony Reserve Champion, to Lendon Gray’s Dressage4Kids, a foundation that promotes dressage education and horsemanship for riders ages 21 and under. “We were looking for an opportunity for both of the ponies to find new homes where they would be appreciated for their immense talent,” Davis said.

Appreciation for Poldy is certainly what was found. The sweet equine helped grateful young riders reach their goals, including winning the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship with rider Katrina Sadis. Davis was happy to see her Poldy, who has been titled America’s most successful FEI Dressage Pony, brighten other equestrians’ lives as he had done for her.

“Everyone who had the chance to know Poldy fell in love with him,” Davis said. Davis, along with everyone who had the good fortune to have Poldy 10 as a part of their lives, will greatly miss the pony.

“Poldy taught me many things, but most importantly he taught me that no matter what the outcome of a show is the most important thing is to love your horse,” Davis said.

“He gave me countless wins, but those are not the times that come to my mind when I am asked about him. The things that I think about the time we spent together at the barn. Those are the times that bring you from a horse-and-rider combination to a true partnership. He was amazing to work with and captured everyone’s heart. He was the pony of a lifetime, and I am so grateful that he was a part of my life.”

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