Lots of famous horses seem to be changing hands at the moment. Nick Skelton’s ride Carlo, Olympic superstars Uthopia, Valegro and Murka’s Vindicat and many more. So, if you were to sell your horse to the daughter of a rock legend, or the husband of the Zara-heiress, what should you think about before selling? Here’s a few tips from the other side of the pond:
One more thing. It can be quite emotional selling your better half so make sure to have someone with you to help you think of all the questions you’ll probably forget to ask. It’s also nice to hear what someone a bit more objective thinks about the possible buyer.
Last Tuesday was exciting, but this afternoon was right off the scale! Luckily Mark managed to organise me to apply for tickets on the second go round, and as I was the one who could remember my password I was lucky enough to get four for the team final of the show jumping. Unfortunately Sophie has run out of holiday so Clare, Mark’s sister joined Anna, Mark and I today. We bumped into Shaun Marsh and Michele Hoad from Felbridge Showground at London Bridge Station, so we all had lunch together in Greenwich and then were in our seats in really good time. We were only four rows back, just by the second last fence, so we were really up close and personal!
After the first team round Saudi Arabia led on 1 penalty, with Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland on four faults, and two fences covering all eight teams in the final. The 21 individual qualifiers jumped first posting only two clear rounds between them so it was clear that Bob Ellis’ course was going to take its toll. The tension and excitement as Nick Skelton and Big Star entered the arena was almost unbearable – a fantastic clear round keeping both the team and individual dream alive. When Ben Maher and Tripple X just had four faults at the difficult distance across the arena, hopes were dampened, but only Maikel van der Vleuten on Verdi from the Netherlands managed a clear before Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos put us back in the hunt again with an immaculate clear. Our worst possible score was 8 faults, but the Netherlands’ Marc Houtzager and Tamino immediately produced a clear. It was worse than Murray v Federer at Wimbledon – break of serve and immediately break back! By this time the silver medal was in the bag, but when Peter Charles had a fence and a time fault the gold looked just out of reach. However Gerco Schroder and London also had four faults, and we were into a jump-off with the Netherlands for Gold!
Jump-off: In came Nick and Big Star and produced not only an immaculate clear, but also what turned out to be the fasted time of the jump-off, followed by Jur Vrieling and a slightly slower clear, then a fabulous clear from Ben, four faults from Maikel – we could nearly touch the gold! Then Hello Sanctos just got on his head a bit and took out a vertical and Marc Houtzager also had four faults – if Peter could go clear? And he did – it was Gold. 60 years since Great Britain last won Gold in the Show Jumping and 28 years since we last won a show jumping medal at all.
What an amazing display of horsemanship. Thank you to Nick, Ben, Peter & Scott for wonderful riding, entertainment and your nerves of steel. Thank you to the Widdowsons, Harrises, Phillipses and Olga White for keeping these wonderful horses in the country. Thank you to Bob Ellis for his great courses, and Good Luck to Nick and Ben for the Individual Final on Wednesday. Go Team GB!
Talk about ups and downs! We entered the week on a high celebrating the great British victories that took place all over the world in showjumping, dressage and eventing. And then we woke up Monday morning with the sun shining and the grass looking greener than ever thinking ‘this will be a great week, bring on Badminton!’. And then in comes the news. Badminton is cancelled. We feel so sorry for the organisers, competitors, exhibitors, sponsors and everyone that was looking forward to going. Can’t be an easy decision to make for the organisers, don’t envy them at all. When we wished for rain earlier this month, this wasn’t exactly what we had in mind…
Instead of getting depressed that we’re missing our chance of going to Badminton for the first time ever. We’re gonna celebrate the latest great achievements delivered from the Brits. Just look at Charlotte Dujardin breaking the Grand Prix Special world record on the stunning Valegro, scoring 88.022%, in Hagen to standing ovations from the German crowd. And then William Fox-Pitt & Parklane Hawk wins the Rolex Kentucky three day event. And to show that show jumping is keeping pace, Nick Skelton & Big Star goes on to win the GP in Antwerpen.
Bring on the Olympics we say! And fingers crossed the weather Gods will be a little bit kinder to the eventers then.