Belinda Trussell's Anton Passed Away

Thu, 04/11/2024 - 09:10
Belinda Trussell and Anton at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Caen :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Canadian Olympian Belinda Trussell said goodbye to her career making dressage horse Anton. The 24-year old retired Grand Prix horse has passed away.

Anton was a Saxonian bred  gelding by Antaeus out of Shirley (by Melit xx x Dorfjunge x Junior). He was bred by Mirko Glotz.

German Start

Originally named Antonello, the horse began his sport career in Germany as a 3-year old. He was first competed by Ivonne Kropf in 2003, while in 2004 Antje Schöniger rode him.

In 2005 Udo Lange was on board for some L-level tests and in 2006 Felix Kneese rode him at M-level.

Sold to Canada

The horse sold to Canada to Robyn Eames and Mark Trussell. 

Belinda Trussell produced the horse to Grand Prix level. Her first national show in Canada was at third level in May 2007 at Saddlewood equestrian centre.

At the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington
A year later they moved up to Prix St Georges level and they rode their first Grand Prix level test in the spring of 2009. Their international show debut was at the 2009 CDI Blainville, where they were third in the Grand Prix (64.851%)  and won the GP Special (63.833%). They year they travelled to Europe and rode at the CDI-W Kaposvar in Hungary as well as Weikersdorf in Austria.

Canadian Anchor

As of 2010 Trussell and Anton became Canada's number one Grand Prix pair. After their first season in Florida and a big boost in scores they represented the country at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, where they were 21st in the Grand Prix (69.021%) and 25th in the Special (67.208%)

The bay gelding needed a long break due to an almost career ending injury between 2012 and 2014. He returned to full fitness with the help of veterinarian Dr. Usha Knabe. After an almost 3 year absence from the show ring, Anton returned at the 2014 CDI Wellington. 

They competed at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Caen, finishing 22nd in the Grand Prix Special with 72.409%.  They won team silver and finished fifth individually (tying in fourth place with team made Brittany Fraser) at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto in front of a home crowd.

In 2016 they set a new Canadian record for the highest score to date in a Grand Prix Special. At the 2016 CDI-W Wellington they posted 75.529%. Their career culminated in a start at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where they were 27th in the Grand Prix Special (72.325%) as highest scoring Canadian pair of two individual combinations sent to Rio.


At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games
In May 2017 Trussell officially announced Anton's retirement from high performance sport. 

He went on as a schoolmaster for Abbey Simbrow and competed lightly for two more years at national level in Canada. Simbrow rode him in some Test of Choice classes and Intermediaire IIs between the spring of 2018 and 2019.

When he was fully retired from riding he spent his team in the field with buddy Tattoo.


Trussell announced Anton's passing in a video tribute on her Facebook page.

"Many people and animals come into your life and sometimes when you are lucky you meet a being that touches your soul, teaches you many lessons, and gives their whole heart to you. That was Anton to me," said Trussell.

Trussell and Anton
She continued, "from the beginning as a young horse he always gave. Training him was easy because he was so eager. The hard part was holding him back," she admitted. "Even later in life, when he was 16 I would still say to him, 'Anton calm down, not so much.' He was a horse with a huge heart and gave that heart to everyone who came across his path."

"Anton taught me many lessons and one of those was not to lose faith, not to feel down and don't give up,. Even during his injury he always fought to be better. He always kept his ears forward with the most positive attitude."

"He taught me that dreams can come true (..) and most of all he taught me that special bond between a  human and equine and how deep that runs," she concluded. "I hope I am a better human because of you and the beautiful lessons you taught me."

Photos © Astrid Appels

Related Links
Eurodressage Photo Database: Anton
Belinda Trussell's Anton Retired from Top Sport, Tattoo Takes Over Torch
Trussell and Tattoo Win Medium Tour at 2015 CDI-W Devon
Monica Theodorescu: Backed by History, Facing the Present on Home Bred Horses
Robyn Eames and Mark Trussell, Canadian Dressage Owners of the Year 2016
Trussell Makes It Two in a Row Winning 2016 CDI-W Wellington Grand Prix Kur
Belinda Trussell and Anton, Top Canadians at 2014 World Equestrian Games
Belinda Trussell Not Seeking Spot on Canadian Team for 2012 Olympic Games