In human terms horses live short lives. If a horse lives to 25 that is considered a very good life span, 30 is remarkable. For a high performance competition horse the age for retirement comes up very quickly. In dressage the horse will be at least 8 or 9 before it can reach the top levels of competition and 10 or more to be successful in international competition. By the age of 16 many horses retire from the top levels of competition and all retire by the age of 19. This past February, Mariett, the mare ridden in many international competitions by Danish rider Lars Petersen had a retirement ceremony during the Friday Night Stars at the Global Dressage Festival. This ceremony inspired me to post these photos for the Word Press Photo Challenge this week: evanescent. Mariett is now 19 years of age so her competition career is over.
Mariett was a very popular figure in the Wellington Florida dressage scene and she had many victories when she competed there. So the standing room only crowd gave her a big send off.
Lars trotted her around the arena and she showed us her extended trot and her sparkle. She posed with Lars for photos and took in all the applause. It was her last moment in the spotlight. Will she be forgotten? Was this last appearance evanescent? In many ways yes. She will now be out of public sight. But for many she will not pass from memory.
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