ANNA Merveldt’s London 2012 Olympic Games horse ‘Coryolano’ was put down last week at the age of 24. In 2007, Merveldt and the Bavarian warmblood gelding by ‘Cheenook’, out of ‘Florina’ (by ‘Gajus’) made a promising international debut at the three-star show in La Mandria, Italy when placing seventh in the Grand Prix Kür (Freestyle to Music).
A year later, they won the Grand Prix Special at the FEI World Cup Central European League show in Lipica, Slovenia and the Grand Prix Special at the FEI World Cup Central European League show in Marianske Lazne, Czech Republic. In 2009, Anna and ‘Coryolano’ scored a double at the three-star show in La Mandria, Italy winning the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special.
The following year, they won both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Kür (Freestyle to Music) at Vidauban CDI 3* in France.
In 2011, Merveldt and ‘Coryolano’ set a then new Irish international Grand Prix Kür (Freestyle to Music) record score of 75.725% in Vienna, Austria, which stood for four years.
Anna Merveldt and ‘Coryolano’ represented Ireland at the FEI European Dressage Championships in La Mandria, Italy (2007); Windsor, Great Britain (2009) and Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2011).
‘Coryolano’, owned by Anna and Christine Breitinger, narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Grand Prix Special at the London 2012 Olympic Games, scoring a very creditable 69.772% during a torrential downpour on the opening day of the Grand Prix competition. Anna won three consecutive The Irish Field Dressage Rider of the Year awards from 2009 to 2011 in recognition of her international success with ‘Coryolano’.
“’Coryolano’ spent his last years happily out on grass in Bavaria,” said Anna. “His exceptional character enabled him to compete at international level. We had amazing times together. You always knew when riding up the centre line that ‘Cheeky’ would perform. Thank you, my dear old friend.”