In Memoriam – Bettina Drummond’s Lusitano Stallion Ilyad

It is with great sadness that Bettina Drummond announces the loss of her equine friend and teacher, her wonderful Lusitano stallion Ilyad, who was quietly put to rest on the morning of March 16, 2017 due to a severe case of colic.

“After my maître – Nuno Oliveira – died, Ilyad became my teacher of instant timing and feel and the perception of right balance. It was my privilege to be his partner for so many years,” Bettina said.

Artist and rider Mari Austad-Bourque was so inspired by seeing Ilyad with Bettina that she felt the need to create art with his image. “I was fortunate enough to capture a moment between Ilyad and Bettina when they were surrounded in sunlight in an otherwise dark space, both seemingly in deep meditation, both mutually passionate and mutually respectful,” Austad-Bourque said. Photos she took during that moment led her to create a beautiful black and white poster consisting of a series of three photos of Bettina and Ilyad, which can be seen below.

“He was absolutely magical to watch, if there was ever a horse I could call ethereal, it would be him,” Austad-Bourque said. “I was at a used bookstore on Tuesday and saw a copy of Homer’s Odyssey, picked it up and started thinking of Bettina and Ilyad as a strummed through it. I think I’ll go back and buy it now. Ilyad was a sensitive, brilliant and complex being who was extraordinarily blessed to have Bettina as his guide. He was liquid mercury in flesh and blood.”

Ilyad’s Gift – by Julie Arkison

The sun reflected off his white flanks, the  chilly morning air curling playfully around his muzzle.

A slight woman, intent on the shift of a hand, a leg, a shoulder, sculpted  the stallions mind and  body around an invisible task.

As they moved at different speeds , on varying patterns, they  seemed to  perceive secret entrances and exits in their shared space that flowed into a joyous dance of  power quietly defined  and shared.

The wind rushed through the trees, sounding like waves never reaching the silence of the the shore. A constant roar accompanied their movement through space as Gravity’s downward pull seemed magically reversed.

Alignment moved their bodies upward, outward, liberated until the descent and creation of yet another moment to support the destiny of each other.

The stallion yields to the conclusion of the woman’s request, both reaching backward in time, a  living monument to a master long ago dismounted.

His legacy travels forward as I watch from the corner, witness to the Passion of Creatures meeting at Balance’s edge, touching Eternity together.

“To ride the truth is to listen for love.” — Bettina Drummond

Ask a lot…


Be content with little…


Reward often.