Donner Crowned 2017 Equiratings Horse of the Year


Hip hip hooray! The Donner Syndicate’s Donner has earned the title of Equiratings Horse of the Year! For those who have followed him since his humble beginnings in the sport under Lynn Symansky, this announcement comes as no surprise. Donner is America’s sweetheart who always shows up and shows out, donning the red, white and blue proudly on the world’s biggest stages.

Getting to this final result was a nail-biting process with over 35,000 votes tallied in. But with each leg he handily progressed – beating the likes of greats like FischerRocana and Arctic Soul. 

There’s no doubt to Donner’s athletic abilities. Anyone who has seen him run cross country (or made his way down a jog strip for that matter) can attest to this. He shows the true power of a good old fashioned Thoroughbred. He may never make it easy for Lynn on the flat… but he’s got a heart of gold across country.

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by Jenni Autry.

This year was one of true success for Donner. He earned a personal best (45.5) at the formidable Burghley Horse Trials. He showed that ‘nothing runs like a deer’ against Capt. Mark Philipps’ cross country where he picked up only 3.6 time penalties. Donner capped out the weekend with he best CCI4* result to date for sixth place.

Though 2017 is the crowned jewel of his eventing career so far, Donner’s consistency is what cements him as a remarkable horse. Equiratings reported that the deer has posted 100% completion rates in seven of the eight seasons he’s competed at FEI events, leaving him with a 96.9% completion rate for his entire international career.

The face only a mother, and the entire U.S. eventing fanbase, could love. Photos courtesy of Lynn Symansky.

“Overwhelmed and deeply humbled by all of the support that came together for Donner, especially in the company of such incredible athletes in this year’s #ERHOTY17,” Lynn posted to her Facebook page.

“Donner truly has the best fans in the world. Thank you to every single one of you for the love and support, and for helping this failed racehorse turned winning event horse earn the recognition he deserves.”

For those who voted to help our hometown-ish hero to victory, thank you! We’re looking forward to watching what he accomplishes in 2018.