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Medal record
Olympic Games
Bronze 2004 Athens Team dressage
World Championships
Silver 2002 Jerez Team dressage
Bronze 2006 Aachen Team dressage
Pan American Games
Gold 1999 Mexico City Team dressage
Gold 1999 Mar del Plata Individual dressage

Brentina is an Olympic-level dressage horse ridden by Debbie McDonald.

  • Foaled: 1991
  • Markings: Star, sock off fore, half-stocking off hind
  • Breeding: by Brentano II, out of Lieselotte (by Lungau)
  • Breeder: Wilhelm Rethorst from Badbergen, Germany
  • Owners: Parry and Peggy Thomas


Brentina is by Brentano II, who was Hanoverian stallion of the year in 2003 and was second at his stallion testing. He has produced several impressive offspring, such as Barclay and Barclay II, Bone Dea II, and he is the dam-sire of Poetin. Brentina is a full-sister to the stallion Barclay II.

Pedigree for Brentina
1991 Chestnut mare

Pedigree of Brentina
Brentano II
ch. 1983
ch. 1975
Black Sky
br. 1966 Thoroughbred
ch. 1970
br. 1973
ch. 1958
br. 1968
ch. 1974
Lugano II
ch. 1958
Der Loewe
br. 1966
Nora Nomade
ch. 1970

Dressage career

Brentina was sold to Peggy Thomas for 150,000 Deutsch Marks at the 1994 October Elite Auction in Verden. She was originally intended as a mount for Peggy, but as a young horse, Brentina threw Mrs. Thomas off and McDonald kept her as a ride. The mare has since had incredible success at the international level in dressage, becoming one of the most successful U.S. horses in history, mainly due to her excellent work ethic and the partnership she shares with her rider.

In 2003, Brentina underwent surgery to correct a breathing problem, caused by a paralyzed windpipe, that restricted air intake to 30% of normal capacity.

After a mild tendon strain at the 2004 CDI*** in Dortmund, Germany, McDonald and the Thomas' decided not to compete the mare in the upcoming Athens Olympics selection trials. However, due to their #1 standing in the USEF Grand Prix Rankings, and after a recommendation by Klaus Balkenhol, the U.S. Dressage Team Coach, the Committee on Selections of the United States Equestrian Federation added her to the short list for the Olympic Games.

Brentina was also named to the 2006 World Equestrian Games team. She completed the team competition, finishing with a very good score and helping the Americans to a bronze medal. However, her rider felt a few tentative steps during the extended trot, and decided not to ride in the individual competition, fearing it might be a sign of injury and another ride might lead to serious injury. After a full work-up in the States, scanning the tendon, the veterinarians found diagnosed the injury as a strain, and treated it with A Cell. Brentina is expected to fully recover and return to work.

On February 10, 2009, Brentina underwent surgery for colic. Luckily, McDonald reported a few days later that she was on the mend and recovering great. She remained at the veterinary facility until February 23rd.

Brentina was retired from competition on April 17th at the Las Vegas 2009 World Cup. There was not a dry eye in the arena as a scarf of roses was laid over Brentina's shoulders in celebration of the years they spent together.

Brentina has also been made into a Breyer horse model.




  • Farnam/ Platform • USEF Horse of the Year
  • 3rd FEI World Cup in Las Vegas, Nevada


  • 1st at the CDI*** Dortmund, Germany (won the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special)
  • 1st at the U.S. Freestyle Championships/U.S. League Final


  • World Cup Final Champion (first U.S. pair to do so)
  • 2nd Team/3rd Individually, Nations Cup at CDIO Aachen


  • 2002 USET Dressage Grand Prix Championship
  • 1st U.S. Freestyle Championships/U.S. League Final (best placing for the US Team or any US rider in years)
  • 1st USET Grand Prix Championship/World Equestrian Games Selection Trials at the Festival of Champions.


  • USET Grand Prix Champions


  • Team and Individual Gold Medal winners at the Pan American Games


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