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Farewell to Levisto Z

Friday, 10 December 2021

Photo © Dirk Caremans/Hippo Foto Levisto Z with Judy Ann Melchior in the saddle. Photo © Dirk Caremans/Hippo Foto.

Judy Ann Melchior has announced that her former top horse Levisto Z (Leandro x Carolus I) has passed away, at the age of 24. On her official Instagram page, Melchior writes: 

“A fairytale comes to an end.
With pain in our hearts we say goodbye.. 
You will always be my special guy,
my unicorn that made dreams come true  
Forever thankful to have had you in my life,
Untill we meet again my friend.. 
Shine bright my star”

With Melchior in the saddle, the beautiful grey stallion stole hearts world-wide – producing top results at the highest level of the sport. Together, the two represented Belgium at the European Championships at Windsor in 2009, as well as at the World Cup Final in Gothenburg in 2008. Levisto Z has also sired several offspring jumping at top level, such as Pumped Up Kicks, Lennox Luis, Luftikus S, Mr. Visto, La Belle Dame Z, Leasure Z – and many more. 

A statement released by Zangersheide on Levisto's passing reads: 

"The king of our stable, Levisto Z, left us on 10 December at the age of almost 25.⁣

With his luxuriant bunch of white manes, his striking appearance and exceptional character, Levisto Z was world-famous and loved by everyone who met him. For Judy Ann, the Melchior family and his grooms Levisto Z was probably the most exceptional horse ever and the absolute favorite of the stables.⁣

At the age of 7, Levisto Z was bought by Léon Melchior with a view to a sporting career under Judy Ann. It clicked immediately between rider and stallion and led to the most beautiful successes. For years, the duo was one of the most outstanding performers on the international circuit, achieving numerous brilliant results, among them undoubtedly the best at the Grands Prix of Helsinki, Sao Paulo, Lyon, Rio de Janeiro and Hamburg, as well as the World Cups of Oslo and Stuttgart.⁣

After his farewell to the sport in 2013 Levisto Z continued his career as a breeding stallion at Studfarm Zangersheide and for years he was one of the biggest favorites of numerous breeders all over the world. His offspring are praised by riders for their extreme rideability, overview and co-operative character. All qualities that made Levisto Z himself so unique as a sport horse. Dozens of his offspring adorn the international top sport, among which Pumped Up Kicks, Mr Visto, Lennox Luis and Luftikus S are the best known.⁣

Losing Levisto Z is a hard blow for Judy Ann, her family and Studfarm Zangersheide. The memories of this striking stallion are beautiful, the stories are many and will be told for years to come. Also in the sport we will be able to enjoy the offspring of this extraordinary appearance for many years to come.⁣

Thanks for everything Levisto. We will never forget you..."

Our thoughts go out to Melchior, and all those close to Levisto Z. 

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