American-bred Pikko del Cerro HU Retired from Competition At Age 13 After Another Injury
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WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 8, 2016–The American-bred Pikko del Cerro HU has been retired from competition at the age of 13 with another injury as the stallion was being trained and competed by Lisa Wilcox with the goal of making the United States team for the summer Olympic Games.
“Unfortunately, we discovered that Cerro has reinjured himself and has been withdrawn from the 2016 Adequan GDF CDI3* Grand Prix this week,” Anne Sparks of Horses Unlimited and breeder and owner of Pikko del Cerro said Monday.
The dark bay Hanoverian stallion competed two weeks ago in Wellington.
Lisa Wilcox planned competing the horse during this year’s Olympic trials in hopes of making the U.S. team for Rio de Janeiro.
“Making the US team was always our goal for the horse. Cerro has won so many championships along the way and that was the one thing we felt was missing from his résumé,” Ann said. Due to his injury, rehabilitation would not be in time for Rio.
“It is bittersweet for me as both an owner and a breeder,” she said. “Together, we decided that it was in the best interest of the horse to suspend his sporting career in order to have a long, happy career at stud.”
Pikko del Cerro was born and raised in New Mexico and became one of the most successful American-bred dressage horses.
Cerro’s first championships under saddle came with his former rider, Mikala Gundersen, a Florida-based Danish team rider.
Mikala rode the horse to the 2009 U.S. Six Year Old Championship. Because of her Danish citizenship, Mikala could not take the horse further with American championships.
With Lisa Wilcox, the pair won the 2011 U.S. Developing Horse Championship and a year later became the inaugural U.S. Developing Grand Prix Champion.
“Cerro has given me everything,” Anne said, “more than I could have ever asked for. Last year he just missed the World Cup by one placing, he is long-listed for the Olympics and was a long list reserve for the Pan Am Games.”