My Dear Friend,
it has been an honour.
You taught me so many things – most of all, that a true champion is not
defined by any external factors or limitations but only by his own
determination and mindset.
I had the pleasure of working with you for many years – in your younger
years when you were ridden by Natalie Blundell and I was able to support
you both from the ground. Natalie has taken you from “Zero to Hero” into
the highest level of our sport and over many years together you have
competed in an incredible 27 CCI/CIC 3*s and 6 CCI4* competitions – always
giving it your heart and soul. Your time together finished on a high – with
a Nomination into the Top 8 Australian combinations longlisted for the 2014
World Equestrian Games.
When Natalie returned to Australia at the end of 2014 you stayed at my yard
and together with your owners – and your most longterm fans and
supporters! – John Glenn and Julia McLean we thought it was time for you
to step down the levels and take life a little slower.
In my daily training sessions with you, you showed just the opposite – with
the spirit of a 5 year old when working on the gallops and out cross
country schooling you seemed to say “I am still at the top of my game – and
I love it!”, so together with John & Julia we decided to give our
partnership “a go”. It is not every day that you take on a horse at the age
of 16 – in our combined age we were quite likely the oldest combination on
the circuit! :-)
2015 was definitely our year – you were in top form and we both just
enjoyed every minute of it – which resulted in us winning two major CCI3*
Events – Montelibretti near Rome in Italy and Haras du Pin in France. Only
one other horse in Europe managed to match your record in that year –
Michael Jung´s Takinou, who went on to be crowned European Champion in
September that very year.
We have had a great time ever since and you gave me as well as John &
Julia many wonderful memories of major competitions and Nations Cups all
Today the day has come for you to leave Somerby Stables and return home to
Australia to John & Julia´s most beautiful farm. I know you will be the “king of the castle” and be in
control of their place in no time at all – just like you used to rule our
My team and I will miss you – not seeing your glowing little face over the
stable door in the morning, excited about what the day may bring – but we
couldn´t wish for a better place for you than to return home.
Home to Australia, where it all began – as a two year old on an Outback
I look forward to seeing you “back home” upon your arrival – and I am
looking forward to an annual catch up with you during my trips to
Australia. I am sure you will have many great stories to tell.
To me, you are, have been and always will be a true Champion, little man. I will miss you.
To John & Julia – I couldn´t be more grateful for giving me the chance
to ride your wonderful horse. I have so much enjoyed the fantastic time we
had together – many great memories! …..and I am looking forward to creating
many more great memories together in the future!
The photo has been taken by the incredible Guillaume Beguin, the video was taken by our Head Girl Avril Smith. Thank you so much for your support!