Fazzino, Belgian Under 25 Trail Blazer and WCYH Medalist, Passed Away

Wed, 06/19/2024 - 17:38
Julie de Deken and Fazzino winning the inaugural U25 tour at the 2010 CDIO Aachen :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Fazzino, a 2004 WCYH bronze medal winner and trailblazer for the Belgian Under 25 sport, has passed away on 19 June 2024. He was 26 years old.

Fazzino was a Westfalian gelding by Florestan out of Rosella (by Ricellino xx x Argwohn x Romulus). He was bred by Helga Grosse Lembeck-Wahmann.

WCYH Bronze

He was discovered as foal by Jorg and Michaela Habenicht, who reared him at their home farm in Selm, Germany. Michaela green broke Fazzino and rode him in his first L-level dressage horse classes in the summer of 2003.

As of 2004 professional rider Arnd Erben took over the ride and debuted him in May 2004 at a local show in Heiden. They were nominated on the German team for the 2004 World Young Horse Championships. 

At the WCYH in Verden they impressed straight away in the preliminary round that was spoilt by heavy rain and muddy footing. The lightfooted Fazzino danced through the test and finished second with 8,82 points. In the Finals he ended up with the bronze medal on 8.68 points. For the late Arnd Erben it was his sportive career highlight.

Arnd Erben and Fazzino at the 2004 World Young
Horse Championships in Verden
"The Westfalian Verband didn't want him for the licensing, they didn't take him for the auction and refused him for the CHIO Sales," Habenicht told Eurodressage in 2004 after the gelding won World Championship bronze.

Julie de Deken

In February 2005 Fazzino sold to Belgian Julie de Deken as her young riders hopeful after Eurodressage tipped the family on the horse. Fazzino  moved to Tineke Bartels' Academy in The Netherlands, where De Deken was training at the time. 

The new pair debuted at young riders level in April 2006 at the CDN Brussels at Royal Etrier. After winning the 2006 Belgian Young Riders Championships they made their international show debut in Stadl Paura in June 2006. They were nominated on the Belgian team for the 2006 European Young Riders Championships in  Stadl Paura (AUT), where they were 13th in the Kur to Music finals.  

Julie and Fazzino
As of 2007 they moved into the senior small tour ranks Saumur, Rotterdam, Herentals, Mechelen. In 2008 they won the Inter I kur at the  CDI Strassen. They won the 2007 Belgian Small Tour Championships and at the 2008 CDI Flyinge they were second in the Prix St George behind Edward Gal and Totilas.

Under 25 Trailblazers

The pair made the transition to Grand Prix level in 2010 and showed in the senior big tour at the CDI Odense. They were 9th at the 2010 Belgian Grand Prix Championship.   They also began competing in the brand new "Under 25" division and were a Belgian sensation when they won both classes in the inaugural Under 25 division at the 2010 CDIO Aachen. The Under 25 classes were a pilot project at the time.

In 2011 they competed in Saumur and Fritzens but they mixed results made them lose a spot on the Belgian team for the European Championships in Rotterdam. They made a great come back by winning silver at the 2011 Belgian Grand Prix Championships.

Winning the U25 at the 2010 CDIO Aachen
Julie rode her last season on Fazzino in 2012 with starts in Vidauban and Deauville. 

Schoolmaster and Retirement

Fazzino scaled down from high performance sport and in 2014 served as a small tour schoolmaster for one season for Belgian rider Kathy Celis. 

The chestnut gelding with his quirky, strong character was fully retired to the field at age 17.

He enjoyed a blissful retirement in the lush pastures at Eurodressage's headquarters in Belgium, where he was joined De Deken's junior horse Romero (by Ritual x Freiherr) and second young riders' horse Widor (by Wanderbusch II x Pikor). He was the loyal companion of Appels' New Forest pony Didi.

He was peacefully put to sleep on 19 June due to old age.

Fazzino retired to the field
Photos © Astrid Appels

Related Links
Eurodressage Photo Database: Fazzino
2014 CDIO Aachen, Home Coming Experience for Belgian Julie de Deken
Belgian Sensation Continued: De Deken Stays Ahead in Aachen Under 25 Competition
Belgian Sensation: Julie de Deken wins Intermediaire II in Aachen Under 25 Competition
De Deken and Verliefden, Belgian Representatives in 2010 Aachen Under 25 Competition
Fazzino Sold to Julie de Deken
German Horses Selected for 2004 World Young Horse Dressage Championships
Fascinating Fazzino Completes Florestan Festival at Verden