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November 12, 2011

Goodbye Cadillac

Cadillac: 1997-2011. Photo by Anna Jaffe.

Dear Rita,

In the very first blog that I wrote for The Chronicle of the Horse in February 2010, I invited my readers to join me on my quest for success in the sport of dressage while warning them that, “…this kind of journey can be full of heartbreak, joy, accomplishment and failure.“

As a lifelong horsewoman, I have already experienced enough heartbreak to know that one cannot always ride the highs in life. And as a Buddhist, I have worked hard to understand the transience of life in order to help myself overcome the lows.

Having said that, I will be pulling myself out of the abyss created by Cadillac’s passing for a long time.

Today, Saturday the 12th of November, 2011, Cadillac was euthanized at my husband’s clinic in New Jersey. I have seen my husband, Dr. Greg Staller, save horses that other people have given up for lost. Sadly, even the strongest will and the greatest skill could not save this horse, this time.

In the very end, the decision to take Cadillac’s life was inevitable. He was a special horse, something that I tried to honor by letting him leave this life without extended pain and suffering.

Many thanks to the photographers who left me with such a lovely record of our time together: Julie Wentscher, Patricia Powers, Kian Bullock, Colin Nicholas and Rui Pedro Godinho—and especially to Anna Sylvan Jaffe who photographed some of our best training days at Gladstone and Cadillac’s last horse show at Saugerties.

I hope that there will come a time when I can speak about this again. Cadillac taught me many lessons that I would like to share with you. But for now, I have only this to say:

I wish you joy on this journey, Cadillac, and I hope that I meet you in the next life. Our time together was far too short. We still had much to do. Thank you for touching my life.

Namaste, Cadillac. I salute your inner light.

I’m Catherine Haddad Staller, and I’m saying it like it is from Vechta, Germany

Training Tip of the Day: Horses touch our lives in many ways. They live forever in the lessons we learn from them.

InternationalDressage.com

swgarasu
3 years 27 weeks ago
How sad. :( I'm very sorry
How sad. :( I'm very sorry to read this. Read More
netg
3 years 27 weeks ago
I just want to join in with
I just want to join in with the others in offering my condolences. It takes guts to make the right decision for your horse when it's such a hard decision to make. Best wishes that you find the... Read More

Comments

crthunder
3 years 28 weeks ago

I am so sorry for your loss

I am so sorry for your loss Catherine. He was an amazing horse and I am sure he is performing an amazing Grand Prix for the horses in heaven.
Anncha
3 years 28 weeks ago

My heart feels for you

There are no words to expess my compassion for you and your loss.
stricklandc
3 years 28 weeks ago

Cadillac 35

A sad farewell to such a special horse. I met him at the Feb 2006 show in Bremen, where you were so excited about his first-ever placings (7th in PSG and I-1). Your partnership the day of the PSG was impressive, and watching you warm up in that crowded schooling ring was an unforgettable lesson. You coaxed Cadillac to focus on you, despite his concerns about the jumpers and the crowded food stands right next to the fence.

netg
3 years 27 weeks ago

I just want to join in with

I just want to join in with the others in offering my condolences. It takes guts to make the right decision for your horse when it's such a hard decision to make. Best wishes that you find the peace you need with such a difficult but ultimately correct choice.
swgarasu
3 years 27 weeks ago

How sad. :( I'm very sorry

How sad. :( I'm very sorry to read this.
randomness