Weltino's Magic

Photo courtesy of Sheryl L. Ross Photography
(2002 – )
Owned by Dr. Jen Hlavacek
Inducted: 2013


Photo courtesy of Sheryl L. Ross Photography
Photo courtesy of Sheryl L. Ross Photography
Photo courtesy of Sheryl L. Ross Photography
Photo courtesy of Sheryl L. Ross Photography
Few dressage horses in recent history can lay claim to a single season as consistently impressive as Weltino’s Magic’s 2011. The striking dark bay gelding was absolutely unstoppable as he rolled to victory after victory, compiling an undefeated season with rider Steffen Peters.

Weltino’s Magic began his streak with Intermediaire I wins in California, taking top placings at the Festival of the Horse CDI and the Del Mar National CDI. At CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival in Germany, one of Europe’s most prestigious dressage competitions, the best small tour horses in the world came out to challenge him. He brushed them all aside to claim victory in the small tour division.

Back in the U.S., “Magic” swept all three tests at the United States Equestrian Federation National Intermediaire I Dressage Championships at the 2011 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions. His outstanding performance with Peters earned them the opportunity to represent the U.S. at the Pan American Games.

The 2011 Pan Am Games, held in Guadalajara, Mexico, brought out the best in Magic. He posted exceptional scores, including a Pan-Am-record-breaking 80.132%, to win the individual gold medal and lead the United States to team gold.

As Magic closed out his season with double gold medals and an undefeated record, the world took notice. USEF named him a Horse of Honor, while both the Chronicle of the Horse and the United States Dressage Federation selected him as Horse of the Year. He repeated his 2010 USDF Prix St. Georges Horse of the Year title and also earned recognition as the USDF Intermediaire-I Horse of the Year.

While his major international victories have come with Peters aboard, Magic has shown remarkable versatility, competing successfully with three different riders over the course of his career. Peters’ wife Shannon was the first to train and show him, and they took the reserve championship in the six-year-old division at the 2008 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championship. Steffen took over the ride in 2009. After Steffen’s stellar 2011 season with Magic, his longtime student Brandi Roenick began competing the gelding in the spring of 2012.

Roenick and Magic have already begun racking up wins. In their first two months of competition, they earned victories at the Del Mar National CDIY, Woodside Spring Dressage CDIY, and Dressage at Flintridge CDIY. They took on the continent’s best young riders at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships, where they came away with triple gold medals in the team competition, individual test, and freestyle. Roenick’s nearly perfect season with Magic resulted in her being awarded the 2012 Fiona Baan “Pursuit of Excellence” Memorial Trophy.

“He’s very giving,” Roenick said. “He’s not a horse to ever say no " he likes to please. When he comes into the ring, he has so much presence. He’s a very honest, loyal horse who always has his head in the game, and that’s what’s made him as competitive and as great of a horse as he is today.” Roenick and Magic have already developed a close relationship. “He and I have a very, very good bond,” she said. “He’s just a very loving, loyal horse.”

Along with his many competitive successes, Magic has also served as an ambassador for the sport of dressage. He has his own Facebook page, where over 3,000 fans follow his competitive results and other updates. His motto is “I Believe in Magic.” Owner Jen Hlavacek initiated a partnership with schools so that underprivileged students could learn math, computer skills, geography and writing skills by following Magic as he traveled to competitions.

“I love Magic’s Facebook page,” Roenick said. “It’s something new, and it gives a little excitement to the sport. It’s extremely fun and entertaining to read.”

When one young fan of Magic had to enter the hospital for treatment related to her leukemia, she turned to her equine hero for inspiration. She brought an “I Believe in Magic” t-shirt and one of Magic’s blue ribbons with her to the hospital as a reminder to stay optimistic through difficult times.

Dominant in the dressage ring and beloved by his fans, Weltino’s Magic exemplifies the impact that an exceptional equine athlete can have. He has scored victories for the United States, amazed spectators with record-breaking performances, and made a difference in children’s lives. And he may still add accomplishments to his already remarkable record.