Leonberg, USA-Owned Stallion Ridden by Mikala Münter for Denmark, Dies at Age of 24

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Mikala Gundersen and Leonberg. © 2010 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 29, 2018–Leonberg, the United States-owned stallion competed by Mikala Münter for Denmark, has died at the age of 24.

Anne Spark, whose Horses Unlimited of Albuquerque, New Mexico, owned the 1994 Rhineland Pfalz-Saar International RPSI stallion (Lonely Boy XX x Ramiros), on Monday made the announcement of Leonberg’s death Dec. 30 from old age in retirement in Germany.

Leonberg was licensed Zweibrüker and approved RPSI, Hanoverian and ISR/Oldenburg.

Mikala Münter, the Florida-based Danish team rider, competed Leonberg at Big Tour in the United States and Europe from 2008 until early 2011. The pair were on Danish teams at Nations Cups in Rotterdam and two at Aachen, Germany.

Leonberg was the alternate for the Danish team at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010.

“When Leonberg first came to me he was nervous and fragile, but soon we gained each other’s trust and became close friends,” Mikala said. “He was such a gentle soul and always needed someone to hold his ‘hand.’  I miss him every day, and I am forever thankful that Anne Sparks made sure he had a great retirement in Germany and let him go to rest at the right time. I must give a big thank you to Anne and Horses Unlimited for trusting me with this beautiful horse.”

Leonberg was first competed in 2003 by Cesar Parra of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, who rode for Colombia before switching to compete for the United States.

Anne Sparks and Lena Jannsen of the German farm where Leonberg was retired, said they were too heartbroken to make a timely announcement.