Olympic Dressage Winner “Monsieur” Leaves A Historic Legacy Behind For Charlotte Bredahl

American Olympian Charlotte Bredahl had to euthanize her 1992 Olympic dressage partner Monsieur on Saturday 17 October 2015. The chestnut gelding was 34 years old.

On Saturday evening 17 October Monsieur developed a colic and as the horse had begun to struggle with old age, Bredahl decided not to have him undergo invasive surgery but to euthanize the horse.

“The last few months his legs were having trouble carrying his enormous 17,3 body and when he colicked Saturday night I knew it was time to let him go,” Bredahl explained. “I bought him in a partnership when he was a gangly and unruly 5-year old and had him until he was 35 (sic). The last time he had a saddle on was 15 years ago when I retired him after 10 years at Grand Prix. Had I known he would live another 15 years I might have kept him in work a bit longer.”

The Danish born Charlotte Bredahl-Baker discovered Monsieur at Niels Grøndahl’s yard in Denmark in 1986. The Danish warmblood was born in 1981 at Henrik Simoni’s yard and was by Lowenbrau out of Heidi (by Guter Gast xx).

Bredahl and Monsieur’s career highlights include team bronze at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and the gelding became the 1994 and 1997 USDF Grand Prix Horse of the Year.  They missed out on the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta due to an injury. The horse was retired from competition at the CDS Annual Convention in January 1999.

Charlotte Bredahl with the retired Monsieur at their home in California

“For the past ten years Monsieur lived in pasture always with a tub of soup (liquid hay pellets) in front of him. He outlived three different pasture mates (polo ponies) who also lived into their thirties,” Bredahl explained. “He was truly ‘the wind beneath my wings.’ He carried me to shows all over the US and Europe, he carried me to an Olympic Team Bronze in Barcelona, he taught me more life lessons than any person could have ever done. I am forever grateful for having had (him) in my life. I will always love (him) and never forget (him).”

Photos © private

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