The 30-year old Dutch warmblood gelding Avontuur passed away this morning, one week before his 31st birthday. The bright bay gelding by Ultrazon x Watteau xx was one of America's most successful dressage horses in the 1990s.
Avontuur was hand picked by Kathleen's mom Betsy as an unbroken 3-year old stallion in The Netherlands. After much training from Kathleen and her husband David Wightman, Avontuur rose to the highest level and became an international Grand Prix horse.
His accolades include a team bronze and an 8th place at the 1994 World Equestrian Games in The Hague, a 5tj place at the 1994 World Cup Finals in Gothenburg, and an 8th place at the 1995 Los Angeles World Cup Finals. The duo also because the team alternates for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlante.
"He had an enormous heart and desire," Kathleen and David told Eurodressage. "He will be greatly missed."
Photo © Mary Phelps