Gail Hoff Carmona posted this beautiful tribute about LA Baltic Inspiration:
To those who knew and loved him - last night Inspiration broke his right hind pastern and had to be put down. It seems so strange to me. I had decided to bring him to my home to enjoy the 3 acres of grass that is growing now and I was less than a mile from home when I felt him moving in the trailer in an unusual way. He was not kicking or falling and I was going just 30 mph, but I felt something was wrong so I pulled over and took a look. I saw him breathing hard and standing on 3 legs. Hoping that he banged himself and was just sore, I crept on home, unloaded him and knew then that he had broken his Pastern. My vet, dr april Armstrong, came immediately, confirmed that he had broken his leg and put him down.
I guess it was some sort of fate. He must have stepped funny in the trailer and I guess the pastern was ready to break. There is not even more than a little scuff mark on the side of the trailer. The vet said that such accidents are not so rare but with an experienced traveler like Inspiration, it was a shock.
Inspiration was so special to me. From the moment I delivered him in NJ to the moment I stood by him at his death, he was never less than a beautiful and noble horse who gave of himself in everything he did. He will be remembered and loved for years to come and his offspring will continue to spread his legacy.
Below are a few photos and highlights from his life:
He started his life under the watchful and caring eye of Dr Joe Pollara who catered to his every ailment, although his ailments were few. (He never even had 1 case of colic his whole life). When he was born I knew right away that he was a "once in a lifetime" colt with so much presence and a kingly attitude from the moment he first stood up.
As a yearling he proved this destiny at his first horse show where he was named Champion Colt and Champion Young Horse of Dressage at Devon.
He was first backed as a 3 yr old by Max and Carla Piriano while visiting Los Alamos Dressage Center from Chile. Max was a member of the Dressage team in Chile and Carla had been on the 3 Day Event team in Argentina. Yet Inspiration showed off the power he possessed as he bought property for them with his high hearted and air borne bucks. However, they persevered with equally good natures and ability and in the end they had Inspiration moving with ease and grace WITH a rider on his back.
As a 4 yr old he made his mark at the International Jumper Futurity with Alex Chtcherba from Russia aboard and it was Alex who immediately recognized the tremendous jumping ability Inspiration possessed in addition to his talent and gaits for dressage. Ana Maria Espinosa from Ecuador rode him and won his first and only horse trial, thus completing performance requirements for his approval as a breeding stallion, and so he was approved as a breeding stallion by the SWB association when, at his inspection, he scored the most points they had ever awarded a young stallion in the USA. Later, based on his outstanding record, he was also approved by the Oldenburg NA registry and given lifetime breeding status.
To wrap up his 4 yr old year, Lisa Basselini ran her legs off (even after first putting herself in marathon training) at Dressage at Devon and Inspiration was named Champion Stallion, Champion Mature Horse and Reserve Grand Champion.
Inspiration loved to jump. His whole face would smile, it seemed, when he got into a ring with jumps. Yet, he was born in a dressage stable and he also had talent and ability for that. Yet out of a seeming conflict of interests, true inspiration is often born and nurtured. This horse lived up to his name in every way. With the help again of Alex Chtcherba, former dressage coach in Russia, as well as the legendary multi Olympian and chef d'equipe, Frank Chapot as trainer, international rider, Laura Chapot as rider and my good friend and former Olympian, Mary Chapot as co-ordinator and cheerleader, I managed to develop Inspiration both as a dressage horse as well as a show jumper. With me as his rider, he won USDF Horse Of the Year Awards every year up through Prix St. George. At the same time, he won the International Jumper Futurity as a 5 and 6 yr old under the skillful riding of Laura Chapot and it was the Chapot's who eventually took him on the winter circuit in Wellington, FL to win the Intermediate Jumper championship of the circuit.
Inspiration competed successfully through Grand Prix jumpers with Laura aboard and through Prix St George at the same time with me. After retiring from the show arena, he went on to learn all the movements of Grand Prix Dressage but his competition days were over. He went on to sire over 100 offspring many of which have been very successful as jumpers and/or dressage horses. One of them is L.A Baltic Kharma who traveled in her father's hoof prints by also winning the International Jumper Futurity as well as being named Champion Mare at Dressage at Devon. Kharma earned diplomas at her SWB mare inspection in both dressage and jumping was remains the highest scoring mare in North America to this day.
The last of my mares to be bred to Inspiration was the Premium A mare, L.A. Rose Of Sweden. She was the mother of Kharma and I named her last foal L.A. Baltic Finale. As a 2 yr old, Finale traveled across the country with Inspiration, Kharma, Highlite and Wellington to CA as I ended one period of my life and began another.
Andre Etmekdjian, now a US citizen from Azerbaijan, was training L.A. Baltic Highlite in jumping at the time of the move and he and his whole family pitched in to help with the move. It was a time of great change and Andre was always there with a helping hand. And so it is now that the last daughter I bred by Inspiration, L.A. Baltic Finale, after starting a show career in dressage with my assistant in CA, Mallory Schneider, has gone on to begin proving herself in the jumper arena under the kind and skillful rider/trainer Andre Etmekdjian. She competed brilliantly over a 3'3" course at her first jumper show at the WEF in Wellington the same day her father passed. I know he was so proud of her.
Inspiration will always be near and dear to me and I am so thankful to him for having brought so many wonderful friends to me from all around the world. Thank you all for being a major part of our lives. As he joins former Olympian, Maj. Hector Carmona, as well as L.A. Baltic Sun, his sire, and L.A. Utrilla, his dam, he returns to gallop pain free over all of the jumps he can ever imagine.
Good bye Inspiration. Bon Voyage. You will forever live in our hearts.
Maybe reflecting on my age now but I have taken to reading obituaries and taking pause and giving reflection to the life that was lived, to honor that someone for a brief moment in time as they have passed.
Here we, all, get this bond and how special a horse can become in one's life. Well written.
About the only time losing is more fun than winning is when you're fighting temptation.
-- Tom Wilson, actor & comedian
What a lovely, heartfelt tribute. I know what an empty space there is when you lose one you've known for so long -- both of you were very fortunate to
have spent so many years together. Gallop free, Inspiration and hugs to all who loved him.
That was just a wonderful, moving tribute at a moment that must have made it even hard to write. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing but what a talent he was and was able to pass on to his offspring. Rest in peace. I'm also taking a moment to reread your post up above. Quite a story. Quite a legacy.
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