Ulla Salzgeber Retires Rusty, Wall Street Died Unexpectedly

June 2005 has been a month of mixed emotions for Olympic medallist Ulla Salzgeber. At the CDI Balve last weekend, she officially retired her top Grand Prix horse Rusty (Rebuss x Aktsent) by riding her Carmina Burana freestyle one last time. "I rode this kur with Rusty in Balve for the first time and will ride my last one there as well," Salzgeber commented.

A large crowd assembled on Sunday June 19 to witness Ulla's final rider on Rusty at the Castle Park in Balve, Germany. After her freestyle, Rusty was laurelled for the impressive performances he achieved in his show career: he won twice Olympic team gold, Olympic individual silver and bronze and he became the 2001 and 2003 European Dressage Champion. Rusty and Ulla will appear only once more in public at the Appassionata Open Air show in Dresden on July 3, 2005.

Saying goodbye to Rusty's show career was difficult for Salzgeber, but she had to deal with even worse feelings of loss and grief when she returned from a trip to Australia on June 5, 2005. At her home in Bad Worishofen, she discovered that her other Grand Prix horse, Wall Street, had died unexpectedly after a severe colic attack.

The 15-year old Russian bred Wall Street was in the running for a place on the German team for the 2005 European Dressage Championships, but was withdrawn from the trials due to lameness issues. Salzgeber was shocked to find out about the untimely passing of her 'heart breaker' Wall Street.

"I'm totally in shock. It's very difficult for me to go into the stable and see his empty stall. At the moment I would rather not hear anything from the sport or see any people," said a saddened Salzgeber.

Text by Astrid Appels/Eurodressage.com
Photo courtesy: Balve Optimum

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