Evi Strasser's 1996 Olympic Mount Lavinia Passed Away
Last week Canadian Grand Prix rider Evi Strasser has lost her 1996 Olympic Games' career making horse Lavinia at age 28. The black Hanoverian mare was enjoying a happy retirement at Wendy Cutts' yard near Toronto, Canada.
Lavinia was born in Germany at Gerd Lühr's breeding farm in Borgholzhausen, Germany in 1984. She was by Ludendorff out of a Dirk dam.
The sensitive black mare rose to international stardom under German born Canadian Evi Strasser. Lavinia joined Strasser in Canada in 1988, and was initially meant for a friend but Evi ended up buying her herself. The combination won the Grand Prix tour at the 1995 Festival of Champions in Gladstone, NJ, ahead of the American team riders and represented Canada at the 1995 and 1997 World Cup Finals in Los Angeles and 's Hertogenbosch. In 1996 they competed at the Olympic Games in Atlanta.
"She was an amazing horse which always did more than I wanted," Strasser reminisced. "That was the great challenge to overcome but I have been very lucky to have had a horse like her in my life."
Lavinia's hot temperament was memorable. Evi recalled that her preparation routine for Gladstone in 1995 mainly consisted of walking. "Lavinia was really hot, it was not easy to calm her down," she said. "Before winning Gladstone I walked her for a week and then I rode the Grand Prix and the Freestyle and she was totally relaxed. After that I again did a week of walking."
Lavinia spent her retirement being pampered by Wendy Cutts. "She was still being ridden lightly and went out as much as she wanted in big fields," Strasser said. "Wendy was always there or made sure she was well taken care of. I'm very grateful she took care of her so well over the years."