Tragedy struck the Dutch Olympic camp as one of the hot favourites for a team spot, Madeleine Witte-Vrees' Vontango B, died of colic early this morning 11 April 2012. Vrees and Vontango had just returned from their successful international Grand Prix debut at the 2012 CDI Addington.
The 10-year old Dutch warmblood gelding by Contango x Jazz suffered from a bout of colic late last night and was immediately shipped to the veterinarian at the equine clinic in Someren. This morning his case worsened and the horse had to be operated on. Unfortunately the internal damage was too severe and the horse was euthanized.
"I'm totally devastated," Witte-Vrees told the Dutch magazine Hoefslag. "Actually I'm not yet realizing it. It was a horse with a golden future. I already miss him. He was my buddy, not only as an athlete. I never rode a horse I loved more."
Vontango was a born dressage horse from the start. As foal he won bronze at the 2002 KWPN Foal Championship. As a 3-year old he finished fifth in the VSN Finals and as a 4-year old he was fifth in the Pavo Cup Finals. As a 5-year old he was third in the 2007 Pavo Cup Finals. He competed at the 2008 World Young Horse Championships in Verden, where he finished 13th in the consolation finals.
One month ago Witte-Vrees and Vontango became 2012 Dutch Indoor Grand Prix champions, scoring 73,16% in the Grand Prix and 76,92% in the kur. They were members of the Dutch Olympic A-team and serious contenders for a Dutch Olympic berth.
Photo © Risto Aaltonen - Astrid Appels
Eurodressage Photo Database: Vontango
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