Opgun Louvo bounces back from injury

World Games Eventing dressage leader Sandra Auffarth’s Opgun Louvo incurred a minor injury in 2013 that kept him off games for several months and caused him to miss the Malmo European Championships. However, his rider admits that she tends to wrap the French-bred gelding in cotton wool.

Opgun Louvo bounces back from injury
© PSV Photos

How did Opgun Louvo incur his injury?

He lost a shoe early on the cross-country at Aachen in 2013 and as the ground was slippery he somehow strained a leg. He wasn’t lame but I know him so well that I realised he wasn’t quite right. I don’t have another horse like him and so I’m always really careful with him.

How did you find him?

He was bought by a Belgian rider from his French home as a three-year-old, which is why the French crowd here gave him a standing ovation after the dressage. I was given him to ride as a five-year-old and a year later I bought him along with the German Federation.

Did you realise then that he would be such a superstar?

Absolutely not. He’s a small horse and in a stable he looks like a hundred others. But he has a great attitude — he’s so intelligent on the flat and such a good jumper. We have done everything step by step together but I never dreamed that he would be a four-star horse. It was only when he completed the Luhmuhlen CCI**** in 2011 that I realised what he was capable of. After that, of course, we won individual silver at the Luhmuhlen Europeans. 

Did you always dream of riding at a World Equestrian Games?

I went to the WEG in Aachen in 2006 and riding at a World Games was really far from my mind. I never thought then that it could possibly happen.

Who trains you on the flat?

I’ve worked with [pure dressage rider] Carola Koppelmann for the last seven years.

What is Opgun Louvo like to ride across country?

He loves all cross-country courses and he’s often a little ‘over-motivated’ at the start!

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