Flintridge National Dressage Show, La Canada, CA, May 23, 2009
There was not a dry eye in the house as Jazzman made his final appearance at the evening performance of the Flintridge Dressage Show. After taking a year off following the suspensory injury that ended his Olympic hopes in 2008, Jazzman came down the centerline under the lights to do his signature Grand Prix freestyle. You would have never known Jazz was almost eighteen as he piaffed, passaged and pirouetted enthusiastically in front of the packed stands. His one tempis were straight and flawless. To the soaring sound of Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman singing "Time to Say Goodbye," Donna and Jazz executed a one handed piaffe pirouette into a walk pirouette. As they walked down the centerline for the final time, waving to the crowd, the people in the audience rose to their feet to give the grand old horse a standing ovation. Joined by Donna's husband Steve Borders, former coaches Laurie Falvo Doyle and Stefan Peters, young rider Skyler Evans, and Olympic judge Axel Steiner, Jazzman was unsaddled in the ring and given a wreath of flowers around his neck. Donna had the chance to thank all involved in making Jazzman's career such a success before, tears running down her face, she led him out of the ring to a life of green pastures and freedom. May Jazzman live long and prosper!
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