Anna Buffini Retires Davinia La Douce From High Performance Sport

Mon, 05/20/2024 - 09:36
Anna Buffini and Davinia La Douce at the 2023 Palm Beach Derby CDI-W :: Photo © Astrid Appels

American Grand Prix rider Anna Buffini has announced that her career starting mare Davinia La Douce has been retired from high performance sport. 

Davinia La Douce is a 17-year old Hanoverian mare by Don Frederico out of Anneliese R (by A Jungle Prince). She is bred by Robert Kühn.

Anabel Balkenhol

The chestnut mare was acquired as a 4-year old by Klaus Balkenhol at the 2011 Hanoverian Summer Auction in Verden for 48,000 euro. 

Initially ridden by Japanese assistant rider Terui Shunsuke, Davinia was produced to FEI level by Anabel Balkenhol. She competed her once in 2013 at M-level. Another two years later, in 2015, the duo returned to the national show ring in Ankum at S-level. In 2016 they rode the Developing Prix St Georges horse tests for the Nurnberger Burgpokal.

With Balkenhol at the 2020 CDN Munster
In 2018 she moved up the Medium Tour and Grand Prix level tests. They made their international show debut in the medium tour at the CDI Aachen Dressage Days in May 2018. The pair tackled the classic Grand Prix tour in 2019 and competed at CDI's in Hamburg, Verden and Oldenburg. The latter show in November 2019 was the pair's last international.

At national level, Balkenhol competed the mare in Munster in January 2020 and her last show in Munster in July, scoring 73.533% in the first Grand Prix Special and 68.268% in the second GP Special the next day.

Anna Buffini

In September 2020 American Under 25 rider Anna Buffini purchased Davinia as her Grand Prix schoolmaster. 

at the 2022 World Cup Finals
Trained by Guenter Seidel, Buffini debuted her internationall at the CDI Thermal in November 2020 and scored 68.565% in their first international GP test. In 2021 they went to Wellington for the Global Dressage Festival and produced consistent rounds cracking the 70% barrier several times. They spent the summer competing in Europe in Achleiten, Rotterdam and Aachen.

In 2022 they focused on the World Cup qualifiers and made it to the World Cup Finals in Leipzig, where they were 12th in the Kur with 74.011%. They stayed in Europe for Hagen and Achleiten and then returned to California for more World Cup showing in Thermal and Wellington. They recaptured a North American league spot for the 2023 World Cup Finals in Omaha, where they were 6th with 77.843%. They flew to Germany for the CDIO Aachen.

They did their last international season this winter-spring 2024 in California with starts in Del Mar and Temecula. Their last CDI was on 3 - 5 May in Temecula, where they won the Grand Prix with 68.413% and the Special with 69.872%.


Anna and Davinia
Early Monday 20 May 2024 Buffini announced Davinia La Douce's retirement.

"With a heart full of gratitude and a spirit of admiration, today I am announcing Diva’s retirement from international Grand Prix competition," she wrote. "This horse has given me the world, and owes me nothing. I have made the difficult decision to retire her when she’s still feeling her best, because that is what she deserves. I’ll be forever grateful for this mare who has been an underdog her whole life, and continuously proved people wrong throughout her career."

"She will live out the rest of her days by my side teaching young up-and-coming riders, and being the Queen of the barn as usual," said Buffini. "There may also be some Diva babies in the future."

Buffini is currently short-listed for the U.S. Olympic team aboard Fiontini

Photos © Astrid Appels - Barbara Schnell - Dirk Caremans

Related Links
Eurodressage Photo Database: Davinia La Douce
Davinia La Douce, New Grand Prix Ride for Anna Buffini