Otto, the 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding selected as an alternate to the US Olympic Dressage Team for the 2012 Olympic Games, will retire to greener pastures rather than make the trip across the pond to London this summer. Owner, Margaret Duprey of Wellington, Fla., said she decided to withdraw the pair from the list of horses and riders being considered for the Olympic games. Instead, Otto is headed for a life of turnout and relaxation. "I am giving back to him what he has given to us," she said. "We made a decision before the trials (USEF Dressage Selection Trials in Gladstone, NJ, June 8-10 and 13-17) that we would retire him after the games. We think it's time now." Otto's rider for the past several years, Todd Flettrich agrees. "In my eyes he is a superstar," Flettrich said. "He has been a Grand Prix horse for so many years. Where else can he go? What else can he do? He rose to the occasion of the Olympic trials. There is nothing else for him to prove."
Now that he has earned his retirement, Otto will spend time with his equine buddies at Duprey's Cherry Knoll Farm in Pennsylvania. She said his pasture mates include well-known horses like Amadeus, Chappell, Dueling Oak and Cooper, her retired jumper.
Flettrich said he is going to enjoy spending some time in Pennsylvania helping Duprey and other students get ready for the fall show season. He plans to return to Wellington in November.
As for her future plans, Duprey said they will consider their options. "We need to take a deep breath and regroup," she said. "We need some time."