Overwhelming Support for Debbie McDonald and Brentina

Courtney King-Dye Salutes Her Hero, and Debbie's Latest Olympic E-Mail

Perhaps Debbie McDonald's last trip down the centerline at the Olympics with Brentina will not go down in the record books, but what we can all learn is that courage and class come in different ways. "She was terrified to the point of not even being able to function. And because of our relationship she kept trying instead of fleeing which is what she wanted to do, and what their nature is to do." Debbie told DressageDaily. We have had hundreds of e-mails (mary@horsesdaily.com - subject line - For Debbie and Brentina) pouring in in support of the pair who have captured our hearts over and over again. We have been forwarding them to Debbie who writes a big thank you in appreciation.

Debbie's teammte Courtney King-Dye sent us this message:

"Debbie McDonald is one of my heroes. She is one of the classiest, most authentic, and true and a deep feeling horse person there is in the sport. I can't express how deeply I feel for her terrible misfortune in the Grand Prix at the Olympics yesterday. Brentina has looked incredible all through quarantine in Aachen and the time here.

They were playing the Athens Olympics on the Megatron here, and I saw Debbie's ride, and I said to her afterward, "Athens looked really good, Debbie, but I think she looks better now."

No one could have foreseen what happened, and it is such an incredible shame that people perceived it as a lameness issue. Brentina was scared to death, and the tension tied her up in knots, but she was sound and healthy and totally fit. (And still is!)

I wish that the world could see her lovely schooling even if she can't go in the ring again. It is powerful and supple and so rhythmical, just the way we all want our horses to be.

Debbie and Brentina have given our sport so much for so many years, and they embody the partnership for which we should all strive. I hope that we can all let those moments shine and realize that these are horses... we all have our bad days, and it is only pure shame that Debbie and Brentina had one of their very few on Olympic day.

That should not take away from the glory they deserve, it should pull at all of our hearts and stir our empathy for a fellow sportsman who faces the same challenges with these wonderful animals that we all do."

And Debbie's final Olympic e-mail has just come in:

First I must say that in spite of what is being written Brentina is not LAME! She went into the ring and was terrified by something. I can't even tell you how bad I feel, not only for losing the team medal but for letting the country down. This was certainly not the way I wanted to end a career. I want to Thank Everyone that has supported us over the years and my family who has given up so much to get me here.

My teammates Courtney (King-Dye) and Steffen (Peters) go get them! Show them that you deserve to be here! Klaus (Balkenhol), Gil (Merrick), Dr. Rick Mitchell, everyone that has been associated with this team, and there are way too many to mention, have been amazing. The grooms have been so great together it has been fun to watch them take care of each other.

It has been very hard on Ruben, it has really hit us both that she will not be going down center line again. We are both so thankful that she will still be with us and the loving and pampering will never change! With the amount of treats that she has been getting, I am sure she thinks she just won the Medal!

And to all our fans, thank you for your letters. Mary (Phelps) has been so great in making sure that I receive them. Also Kyra Beth (Houston) has been working hard at it. I don't know if I will be writing again but please know that we love you all!

Debbie, Ruben and of course the BRICK HOUSE WOMAN, BRENTINA!