Rolf-Goran Bengtsson: Why Casall ASK is my horse of a lifetime

Horse of a lifetime: Casall ASK
Horse of a lifetime: Casall ASK

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Horse of a lifetime: Casall ASK 02:32

Story highlights

  • Rolf-Goran Bengtsson reveals favorite horse
  • Casall ASK won Hamburg leg of LGCT in final outing

(CNN)Casall ASK's farewell to showjumping was fairytale stuff.

The legendary stallion, 18, emerged victorious at this year's Hamburg LGCT leg in his final ever appearance on the tour.
No wonder he's Rolf-Goran Bengtsson's horse of a lifetime.
    "It was a happy, happy end," Bengtsson tells CNN Sport, visibly emotional as he recalls that triumphant day last May. "You couldn't dream of something like that."
    Bengtsson, a two-time Olympic silver medalist for Sweden, attributes Casall ASK's success to an excellent temperament coupled with a gradual introduction to the upper echelons of the sport.
    "He was very careful, always," reflects Bengtsson. "The build-up was also a key reason he lasted so long.
    "We didn't push him too much in the beginning; we let him start quite slowly when he was seven or eight.
    "Then we brought him slowly up to the [Global Champions Tour], and he was ready."
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    Not that it was always plain sailing for the German horse.
    "I always had a nice feeling together with him, but he was a bit shy when he was young," says Bengtsson, admitting Casall ASK's connections were once fearful he'd never realize his true potential.
    Fortunately, it wasn't long before such doubts were dispelled.
    "The buildup made him believe in himself," Bengtsson explains. "He had confidence, and slowly he could jump the big tracks.
    "He was really a horse who liked attention. The noisier it was in the ring, the more he wanted to come in.
    "That was what made him so good -- in the right moment, when it was time to do something special, he was always motivated to do his very best."
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    After many years spent together, a faultless 42.69-second round was certainly a special way to bring the curtain down for the 10-time grand prix winner.
    And, while Bengtsson remains "sad it's over," the 55-year-old is glad one of equestrian's true greats ended on a high.
    "He's still in super shape and he showed the whole world that he could do it until the very end, but we wanted him to really end his career at the best level," he concludes.
    "Everybody involved with Casall ASK was super happy that we could."