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Princess Nathalie heartbroken after her Olympic-winning horse dies aged 23

Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg is in mourning after her beloved horse Digby, which she competed on at the Olympic Games in Beijing, was euthanised. On Saturday morning, according to Danish and German media, Nathalie had to say goodbye to her beloved horse who was located at Berleburg Castle. Digby had just turned 23-years-old.

In a statement to the Danish horse-webpage, “Ridehesten” Princess Nathalie said: “It was not an easy decision, but the vet praised me for making the most sensible decision for Digby. It is an era that is over; it is weird. A lot has happened in the 23 years with Digby in my life. We did an X-rays of him, and it was just the second time in his life he was X-rayed, and the vet was very surprised. The vet had never seen such beautiful X-rays on a 23-year-old horse.”

Digby has always been a tough and special horse who has never had a sick day or just the hint of colic. He was put to work as a 2.5-year-old stallion, selected and tested as a Danish Warmblood and had his Grand Prix debut at the age of eight-years-old.

Princess Nathalie can proudly carry the title of Denmark’s best dressage rider. Together with Digby, Princess Nathalie has had many good experiences. For Nathalie, the most notable event with the horse was the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and Hong Kong. There, Her Royal Highness and her horse were a part of Denmark’s team that won bronze.

Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg is the youngest daughter and child of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Princess Benedikte of Denmark. She is the niece of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.

Princess Nathalie has a long equestrian career. In 1994, Princess Nathalie began training on the Swedish stud Flyinge with her trainer Kyra Kyrklund, a former world champion in dressage. After four years, during which she won the bronze medal at the European Championship with the Danish team, she moved to England. From 2000, she was back on the Danish national and Olympic team.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.