'I Can Always Call on Him': Toulago Is Adrienne Sternlicht's Mr. Reliable in the Ring

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very Batman has their Robin — the same principle applies to horse-and-rider partnerships, right? Although most would assume Adrienne Sternlicht’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) mount, the wonder mare Cristalline, is her right-hand woman, when duty calls, Toulago is always ready to don his cape and fly to the top of the podium.

Adrienne went two for two this past weekend at the Longines Masters of New York (LMNY), winning the CSI5* Masters One EQ Exchange 1.45m aboard Fantast and the CSI5* Masters One Prestige Italia 1.55m riding Toulago — the latter victory being extra special to the 25-year-old rider. Delighted with the results, Adrienne gushed over Toulago, with whom she’s been partnered for almost three years now. 

“He’s been unbelievable. I bought him sort of as my first seasoned grand prix horse. I actually bought him at the same time I purchased Cristalline, who was eight at the time,” Adrienne says. “He’s sort of been my very reliable horse — I know I can always call on him. He’s had to step up a bit more than maybe we anticipated with my other two top horses not competing in the big classes.”

Although Toulago doesn’t have a WEG gold medal stamped on his resume, what the flashy gelding does have is a ton of character and a heart of gold — equally important when it comes to competing at the top level.

“I have an amazing partnership with him. He’s the biggest character of any horse I’ve been around and that’s a testament not just to my closeness with the horse but my grooms — they really shower him with love. He really fights for me as a result of that,” Adrienne explains.

“I think a win with him is almost more meaningful to me in some capacity. ... Toulago is an amazing horse with a heart of gold and any time he competes like that, he makes me proud.”

Fast Facts About Toulago

  • Adrienne and Toulago were part of Team USA who won the $150,000 Nations Cup™ CSIO4* this past winter in Wellington, Florida.
  • Toulago is a 14-year-old Oldenburg. He was born in Germany.
  • Previously ridden by Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer, Toulago competed at the 2010 WEG in Caen, France and the FEI World Cup™ Finals in 2014 and 2015.
  • Adrienne and Toulago made their debut as a pair at the 2016 Hampton Classic.
  • LMNY was their first 5* level win! Congrats!

Read this next: Ten Things Adrienne Sternlicht Has Learned From McLain Ward

All photos by Sportfot.

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Written by Lizzy Youngling

Lizzy Youngling has been a die-hard equestrian groupie since the age of three. Although not in the saddle as much as she’d like, Lizzy is a fan of all things horses. When she’s not writing for NOËLLE FLOYD, she can be found at the boathouse training with the United States Rowing National Team in Princeton, NJ with the hopes of competing at the 2020 Olympic Games.