asello and Lindelöw at CSIO Rotterdam 2015
Douglas Lindelöw’s top horse Casello has been sold to the sponsor of Ludger Beerbaum after a curious and sad conflict between the horse’s owners that ended up in the Swedish courts.
Lindelöw, one of Sweden’s most successful international riders who this year rode Casello to a strong 8th place at the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Las Vegas, competed at the European Championships in Aachen, and most recently placed 2nd in the Longines World Cup Jumping Qualifier at Suttgart, co-owned the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Casall x Carolus) with Maria Schack Bladh. Lindelow, who got the ride on Casello as a three-year-old, had brought the gelding along throughout the entirety of his career and had a long and meaningful partnership with the horse.
However, back in May a disagreement over prize money arose, and by September, Bladh indicated that she wanted to sell the gelding. Douglas Lindelöw and his mother Agnetha made multiple attempts to buy out Bladh’s share of the horse, but she refused to sell to them. As co-owners of the horse, the Lindelöws refused to allow the horse to be sold to someone else.
The situation ended up in court as Lindelöw desperately tried to find a path to keeping his best horse in his barn. His co-owner requested that the courts make an order to sell him, but by November the case had stalled, and as Lindelöw was barred from competing the horse at all, he began to realize that the chance of him keeping his partner that he had developed for the last decade was slim to none.
The legal battle finally ended with an online auction that was scheduled for Monday, December 21st in which the horse was to be put up for sale to the highest bidder. Rumors were already flying that Jan Tops planned to bid €2.4 million on Monday to acquire the horse for an unnamed Qatari rider.
“Casello will now continue his career together with one of the world’s most qualified, skilled and well-known riders, Ludger Beerbaum.”
After rushed negotiations over the pre-Christmas weekend, Lindelöw instead was able to negotiate an agreement to sell Casello for a rumored €3 million to Madeline Winter-Shulz of Germany, who owns the top horses of Ludger Beerbaum. The auction was canceled at the last minute and Casello will now be ridden under the German colors with Beerbaum, in what Lindelöw described as the “second best” solution to the situation.
“It is with sorrow and joy that I write this message,” Lindelöw wrote today on his Facebook page. “Sadness because I and Casello will go our separate ways after almost 10 years together. Joy because Casello will now continue his career together with one of the world’s most qualified, skilled and well-known riders, Ludger Beerbaum. Casello has, in any case, justice in this tragic situation. When it was clear beyond doubt that we would not be able to retain Casello I wanted right away that he shall go on to a fitting home . I am extremely moved by, and grateful for the enormous support I had in this and hope that you all with give Casello and Ludger the same support. Once again, a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in large or small part. I’m happy for Casello’s sake.”