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The Tribute Arena

March 28, 2004

Photo by Gay Walker

Beaurivage, eighteen year old Hanoverian gelding by Bonjour out of Goldsternchen, was put down.  Beaurivage had recovered from two emergency colic surgeries in 1995 and continued to compete at Prix St. Georges that year.  Beauri had already had three colic surgeries. The third colic surgery happened in the summer of 2002 after Jane Thomas had competed with him earlier that spring in Prix St George and I 1. He actually won the Open I 1 at Burbank with a 72%  Because of his age and the  situation, we felt it was unfair to put him through another  surgery. The autopsy showed that because of previous scare tissue, it was highly unlikely he would have survived a  fourth surgery. 

Purchased as a four year old by Peggy and Parry Thomas for Debbie McDonald to begin her dressage career in 1990, Beauri and Debbie learned dressage together starting at First Level and going all the way to Grand Prix.  In 1997, their first year at Grand Prix, they were on the Silver Medal team at the North American Championships.  They won the US League Qualifier for World Cup in Washington, DC and competed in their first international competition - the World Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden, 1998. Debbie had used the USET training grant to train with Klaus Balkenhol the end of 1997.  

Beaurivage had recently been ridden by owner, Peggy Thomas.  "Beaurivage is the safest horse -- Debbie's true love.  He started dressage for Debbie.  He is the kindest, most honest horse you'd ever want to meet." Peggy at 77 loved doing flying changes with Beauri. 

Because we were unable to bury Beauri at River Grove due to legal restrictions, we laid him to rest on a farm my husband Peter and I have on the Snake River. He is on a bluff in the shade of the blossoming cherry trees that overlooks an incredibly beautiful view of the river. We felt it appropriate since his name means beautiful river. While my family and the McDonalds are deeply saddened by the loss of this incredibly big hearted horse, we are comforted by the outpouring of sympathy all the people in the dressage world have sent us. Thank you for your support through this difficult time.


Jane Thomas
River Grove Farm

March 28, 2004.  Email from Debbie McDonald who is in Germany training at Klaus Balkenhol's with the US team for World Cup.  Just this week, Debbie had to withdraw defending champion, Brentina, from the World Cup because of a slight injury at Dortmund.  

"When it rains it pours! I am not sure if I can take anymore bad news. I got a phone call this morning from Bob and they had to put Beaurivage down. He was my man, the one that started this whole dressage thing! I have to say, one of the best things that ever happened to me. I can't imagine walking in the barn and not seeing his incredible face looking at me. He went through three colic surgeries and never ever wanted to give up. I know that it had to be so hard for everyone at home that had to make this decision. I just want to let them know that I know that they did the best thing for him. He didn't deserve to suffer, he gave more to all of us then we could have ever given back to him. I will miss him so much and thank God for giving me the time I had with him. I am an emotional wreck at the moment but I am sure that in time will be better. Stay safe and I miss all of you!

Love Deb




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