Debbie McDonald's Beaurivage Passed Away

Debbie McDonald's first international dressage horse, Beaurivage, has passed away March 28, 2004. After a succession of colic attacks and three surgeries over the years, the 18-year old Hanoverian gelding suffered from a fourth severe colic bout last weekend. An operation was no longer beneficial to the health of the horse and it was in his best interest that Beaurivage was humanly put down.

"When "Beauri" coliced this past weekend we knew he did not have another surgery in him," owner and rider Jane Thomas explained. "Our vets did everything possible but in the end there was only one choice left. We laid "Beauri" to rest on a farm my husband Peter and I have on the Snake River. He is in the shade of the blossoming cherry trees overlooking a beautiful stretch of the river. Beaurivage means beautiful river, so we thought this the perfect place. "Beauri" is the horse that really started Debbie's love for dressage and he will be sadly missed but never forgotten."

Beaurivage was born in 1986 and was by Bonjour out of Goldsternchen (by Gardekürassier). He was purchased by the Thomases of River Grove Farm (Idaho, USA) as a four-year old at the Auction for Hanoverian sport horses in Verden.

He became Debbie McDonald's first international horse. "Debbie selected Beauri to be her first Dressage horse not because she thought he would be a world class horse but because she could sense he had something special," said Jane Thomas, adding that " Beauri had the world's biggest heart. Nobody thought he would be able to do the Grand Prix, nobody but Debbie that is. She knew that what he lacked in talent he more than made up for in heart. They basically taught each other."

In 1997, McDonald and Beaurivage rode to a team Silver Medal at the North American Dressage Championships. She also won the FEI Volvo World Cup qualifier at Dressage Under the Oaks and the Prix St. Georges, Intermediaire I and Grand Prix at the Mid-Winter Dressage Fair in California. After winning the Volvo World Cup U.S. League Final in October, 1997, McDonald represented the U.S. at the 1998 World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden.

After Debbie's success with Beaurivage, Jane Thomas started riding him with the plan of someday doing her first Grand Prix with him. She competed him in the spring of 2002 in the Intermediaire I and had terrific scores, but unfortunately he had to have his third colic surgery that summer postponing Thomas's plans. "After his recovery my Mom started riding Beauri," Jane reminisced. "She had lost the use of her horse Guiness, and needed a kind safe replacement. Beauri was the perfect choice. It was so much fun for my Mom to practice Grand Prix moves on this Gentleman of gentlemen. He took very good care of her and she had the time of her life."

by Astrid Appels of

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