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During my career I have produced a number of horses that have been sold on to other international riders. The new partnerships have gone on to achieve great success at all levels. Although it is hard to sell a horse who you have produced and have great hopes for it has given me pleasure to see the success that the horses have achieved.
At the WEG Stockholm 1990 – there were 5 horses competing that I had produced and one rider!
Bahlua was my mount at the WEG in Stockholm. A NZ TB horse I bought from Andrew Nicholson as a novice, he was tricky on the flat but a fantastic jumper and he was sold after WEG to Eddie Stibbe, originally for Mandy but he clicked with Eddie and had a long and successful partnership including being 5th at Burghley; 4th at Bramham. Together they went on to the European Championships in 1993 and won individual bronze - Eddie’s first individual medal.
Irish bred Peppermint Park was another horse I started from scratch and he took a while to develop but ended up a very reliable and consistent performer at the highest level. We were 2nd at Boekelo in 88, 3rd at Le Lion. He was sold in 89 to team Japan and then 5 riders rode him at all levels up to World Championships in 90 and 94; Olympics in 92 at Barcelona; Burghley in 91, jumping clear in the Olympics to finish in the top 20.
My 1989 Burghley winner Wilton Fair was part of the 4th placed team at WEG in Stockholm with David O Connor (USA) and went on to be placed at many 4* competitions.
Jued Lad – won Windsor Three day; 8th Boekelo in 88; 3rd Achselschwang in 89, 4th at Gatcombe in the Open and then a week later won the Scottish Championships. He competed at WEG in 1990 with Lars Christensson (SWE).
Tom Thumb was another horse that I rode and sold that competed for Spain at the 1990 World Championships.
I also trained Santi De la Rocha from Spain who rode Kinvarra into 9th place.
It was a very hard decision to sell my first Badminton winner (1980) Southern Comfort III but I had made the decision to return to New Zealand. This however set the trend for selling horses in the future. He went on to Torrence Watkins-Fleischmann in the States where he went on to become Horse of the Year in the States.
I won Boekelo in 1998 and Punchestown in 1999 on the fantastic jumper Regal Scott who competed to advanced level with Carolyn. He was then sold to Karen O’Connor in the States but sadly he had to be put down due to vet mishap whilst in quarantine for the Sydney Olympics.
Autumn Heyday was a great jumper who went on to success with Eddie and Mandi Stibbe including a place at Beoekelo and he went on to end his eventing days with Ms L Guffanti from Italy.
I rode Word for Word until my retirement in 2000 – he was 2nd at Badminton in 1999. He won Saumur, 3rd at Burghley, 2nd Beoeklo and the Open Championships at Gatcombe. When I went back to NZ he went to GBR rider Polly Stockton – who finished 2nd at Burghley in 2002.
Polly also got the ride on Eye Spy II who I rode in at the Sydney Olympics for the individual bronze having been 5th at Badminton in the Spring. He and Polly went on to be 6th and 8th at Burghley, 7th at Badminton and a team horse for GBR at Jerez World Championships. He was a talented but difficult horse.
Michaelmas Day was a great old campaigner who could pull like a train. Together we were 3rd at Boekelo in 85; 9th Burghley in 86, Fred Bergendorff took over the ride in 1990 and together they went on Burghley and Badminton completions. He also gave my New Zealand pupil Bryce Newman valuable experience at the highest levels.
Stunning was a horse I bought in New Zealand and I rode him until 1999 when he went to William Fox-Pitt. With me he was a winner at Achselschwang and 2nd at Bramham. With William he won Blenheim; 4th at Saumur; 4th at Lexington; won the Scottish championships twice and a team GBR horse at the European Championships. After his retirement his owners gave him to William’s long time head girl Jackie Potts and he is hunting with the Portman now.
Down Under – ridden by my pupils Peder Fredericson and Fred Bergendorff. He went on to WEG in the Hague in 94 with Peder jumping clear cross county; he was 7th at Boekelo with me in 92 and was sold to Mr O Geissler (GER) in 96 who competed successfully, for many years.
Photo: SW&P Photography
Photo: Horse & Hound