Faustus, Dorothee Schneider's 2021 European Championship Team Horse, Retired from Competition Sport

Sun, 11/26/2023 - 13:06
Dorothee Schneider and Faustus at the 2021 European Dressage Championships :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Faustus, the horse that took Dorothee Schneider to team gold at the 2021 European Dressage Championships, has been retired from competition sport. 

He is a 15-year old Hanoverian gelding by Falsterbo out of Flocke (by Forrest xx x Walzertraum x Graphit). He is bred by Heino Bruns. 

Verden Auction Horse

He was initially owned by Andreas Bruns and first competed by Karen-Patricia Wäger in the spring of 2013 when the horse was five. 

Bruns sold Faustus for 36,000 euro as the price highlight of the 2013 Hanoverian Summer Auction. The horse moved in training with to Dirk and Franziska Linden with Franziska showing him once in August 2013 and from then on Dirk produced and competed Faustus up to S-level. On show results in that period, Heino Bruns was still listed as owner of the horse, even though other records state that Martin and Dirk Linden owned the horse.  Dirk rode Faustus in the Nurnberger Burgpokal qualifier in Hagen.

Louisdor Cup Reserve Champion

Dirk Linden and Faustus at the 2015 CDN Hagen
Faustus then sold to Bernd and Claudia Heicke of Gestüt Fohlenhof in 2016 and the horse moved in training with Dorothee Schneider. She premiered him in public at the Global Dressage Forum in October 2016, which was held at Hof Kasselmann in Hagen.

Dorothee's first show on Faustus was in February of 2017 at Intermediaire II level at the CDN Ankum and she then competed him on the Louisdor Cup circuit for developing Grand Prix horses. The finals were won by Dalera BB, Faustus placed second in Frankfurt. 

In 2018 Faustus made his international show debut at the CDI Ebreichsdorf, where he scored 71.783% in his first CDI Grand Prix to place second. From there he did Mannheim, Wiesbaden, Fritzens, Randbol and Salzburg and was a second iron in the fire for Schneider's team selection after her Olympic number one Showtime. In 2018 Faustus was bestowed with the Otto Lörke prize

Succeeding Showtime

Faustus at the 2016 Global Dressage Forum
Faustus had an 8-month break from international showing in 2018 and resurfaced at the CDI Verden in August 2019, where he won the Special with 75.894%. Then Stuttgart and Frankfurt followed.  In 2020 corona year he did two CDI's: Dortmund and Oldenburg. The pair won double bronze at the 2020 German Grand Prix Championships.

In 2021 Faustus was campaigned at Salzburg, Doha, Kronberg and Crozet. They were seventh at the 2021 German Dressage Championships and were nominated on the German team for the 2021 European Dressage Championships in Hagen instead of Showtime, who had competed at the Tokyo Olympics. Also Werth swapped Bella Rose for Weihegold in Hagen, while Von Bredow-Werndl rode Dalera in both shows that were six weeks apart.  The German team won gold in Hagen, Faustus' career highlight. He finished 14th in the Special (74.802%) and did not make it into the freestyle as fourth scoring German horse. 

In 2022 the duo did Herning, Mannheim, Munich, Kronberg, Donaueschingen, Vilhelmsborg, Stuttgart and Frankfurt, winning no less than 7 international classes out of 16 tests. They were sixth and fifth at the 2022 German Championships and were named team reserves for the 2022 World Championships in Herning. The show in Frankfurt was the horse's last. He was second in the Kur with 82.870%

Early Retirement

Faustus winning at the 2018 CDI Fritzens
At the start of 2023 Faustus became unlevel and was given a break to recover.  He has moved home to Gestut Fohlenhof.

A few weeks ago rumours started floating round that Fohlenhof's in-house rider Ingo Menze had received the ride on a recovered Faustus and would compete him instead of Dorothee. Emails to Fohlenhof and Menze were left unanswered. 

When Eurodressage inquired with Schneider about Faustus' future plans, a reply followed that it has been decided to retire the horse from competition sport. Thirty minutes later, Schneider took to social media announcing his retirement. 

"I haven't posted anything about my great friend Faustus in a while. Of course, this had a reason and took decision time... now I want to tell you about it..," Dorothee posted. "In January/February I had the feeling that he had some problems in his movement mechanism. After many exams and tests which have dragged on over the year and with no change/improvement, the Heicke family and I have decided for Faustus to say goodbye to performance sport."

Schneider added that Faustus' health is good enough for light riding, but not competition sport. 

Team gold at the 2021 European Championships
"He has performed and achieved quite a lot in his life and has more than deserved a "comfortable" aging," she said. "Fausti can continue to be ridden and move in the fun program, only his health no longer allows for "performance sport."  Until recently, I rode him lightly on a daily basis and admired his "show movements" in the paddock and field. Now, at the request of the Heicke family, he has moved to Fohlenhof to enjoy the next years of his life turned out and on a light riding program. Fohlenhof is a paradise for horses and the well-being of all four-legged ones is absolutely at the forefront."

She concluded, "we already miss our "Fausti" a lot, but I am absolutely convinced that together with the Heicke family have made the right decision for him. (..) Thank you to Fausti for this magnificent time together and have fun in the next phase of your life."

Photos © Astrid Appels - Stefan Lafrentz

Related Links
Eurodressage Photo Database: Faustus 
German Team Selected for 2022 World Championships Dressage
Showtime Withdrawn from 2021 European Championships, Faustus In
Ingrid Klimke and Franziskus Win Grand Prix in Ghost Town Edition of 2020 CDI Dortmund
Photo Report: Schneider and Faustus Top the Board at 2020 CDN Munster Indoor
Faustus Wins the 2018 Otto Lörke Prize
TSF Dalera BB Wins 2017 Louisdor Cup Finals for Developing Grand Prix Horses
Schneider and Faustus Bag First Victory on Show Debut at 2017 CDN Ankum
Faustus, Best Seller of the 2013 Hanoverian Summer Auction