Farewell to Irish Olympic dressage horse Coryolano

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Anna Merveldt and Coryolano.
Anna Merveldt and Coryolano. (Image: Joe Reynolds)

Ireland’s 2012 Olympic Games dressage horse Coryolano has been put down at the age of 24.

The Bavarian warmblood gelding by Cheenook out of Florina (Gajus) was euthanised last week. He had spent his last years “happily out on grass in Bavaria”, his rider, Anna Merveldt said.

“We had amazing times together. You always knew when riding up the centre line that ‘Cheeky’ would perform. Thank you, my dear old friend.”

The combination represented Ireland at three FEI European Dressage Championships. Their international career began in 2007 with a promising debut at the three-star show in La Mandria, Italy, where they placed seventh in the Grand Prix Kür (Freestyle to Music).

A year later they won the Grand Prix Special at the FEI World Cup Central European League show in Lipica, Slovenia and the Grand Prix Special at the FEI World Cup Central European League show in Marianske Lazne, Czech Republic. In 2009 Merveldt and Coryolano scored a double at the three-star show in La Mandria, winning the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special. The following year they won both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Kür (Freestyle to Music) at Vidauban CDI 3* in France.

In 2011 Merveldt and Coryolano set an Irish international Grand Prix Kür (Freestyle to Music) record score of 75.725% in Vienna, Austria which stood for four years.

Coryolano, owned by Merveldt and Christine Breitinger, narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Grand Prix Special at the London 2012 Olympic Games scoring 69.772% during a torrential downpour on the opening day of the Grand Prix competition.

Merveldt also won three consecutive The Irish Field Dressage Rider of the Year awards from 2009 to 2011 in recognition of her international success with Coryolano.

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