One Last Time

“Ready, old fella?” Christina whispered just as they were about to enter the big arena at the Courtour Eventing Trials. “Can we do it one last time?”

The big grey stallion beneath her - having been her eventing mount since the beginning of their careers - whickered softly and tossed his head. Picking up her reins and nudged him forward with her heels.

“One last time” she prayed, as they trotted into the ring. The pair had been together for nearly eight years, and now Ris was coming to the end of his time at 4 star level competition. Now nearing 15 years old, Christina had discussed his future with Chloe and Richard, and they had all agreed to retire him from top level competition after this show - so she was hoping and praying with all her might that they had at least a clear round to go out on.

As it turned out, they did. In fact, they went and won the 4 star event.

One last time……

And as they did the outgoing grand champion’s lap of honour after the presentation ceremony, Christina felt her eyes well up with tears as Ris galloped around the ring; champion’s ribbon fluttering from his bridle and his ears pricked, occasionally whinnying at the gathered crowd as if to say “Look at me! Aren’t I great?!”

As she dismounted afterwards, she immediately enveloped the huge stallion that had become such a big part of her life and career in the biggest hug he’d ever been given, and kissed his cheek.

“Thank you buddy, thank you for everything.”

One. Last. Time.

With over 250 points to his name, we have made the sad decision to retire Ris from top level eventing competitions. Now, he can enjoy his retirement in the field, being our top stud at Winyard, and also helping out our newer riders as a kind of schoolmaster. He may even reappear in the show ring one day with one of them on his back - but only in the lower levels; he’s done with the heavy stuff.

All the best in your retirement, big fella!