With the eventing season nearing a close, we couldn’t help but reflect on some of the most unforgettable horse and rider partnerships of our time. As proud sponsors of the Horse & Hound Professional Rider of the Year Awards, SPILLERS brings you 7 of their most memorable eventing duos.
Michael Jung & La Biosthetique-Sam
This German twosome currently dominate the world of eventing as the winners of the 2015 Burghley and 2016 Badminton horse trials awarded them the prestigious 2015 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing title. Other huge accomplishments they hold under Sam’s girth include individual gold medals at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics, 2011 European Games and 2010 World Equestrian Games.
William Fox-Pitt & Tamarillo
Described as William Fox Pitt’s “horse of a lifetime” Tamarillo, the 16.2hh Ango Arab who, under Fox-Pitt, achieved world class success including team silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics, team silver at the 2006 Aachen World Equestrian Games as well as team gold and individual silver at the 2005 European Eventing Championships. Fox-Pitt and Tamarillo have also won both Burghley and Badminton.
Pippa Funnell & Supreme Rock
Beloved, British eventing pair Pippa Funnell and Supreme Rock will undoubtedly always remain a memorable equestrian partnership. Whilst under Pippa, the 16.3hh ISH gelding won team silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics as well as winning the Badminton Horse Trials two consecutive years in a row in 2002 and 2003. Together, Supreme Rock alongside Pippa’s other top ride, Primmore’s Pride helped Pippa to become the first equestrian to win the elite Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing in 2003.
Ian Stark & Sir Wattie
How could we forget double Badminton champions Ian Stark & Sir Wattie? The Scottish eventer and bay gelding also achieved individual and team silver at the 1988 Seoul Olympics as well as individual bronze at the 1986 European Games in Poland. Together, the duo amassed around £20k in prize money.
Mark Todd & Charisma
Next on the list is none other than New Zealand eventing legend, Sir Mark Todd, and the famously small but feisty 15.3h TB, Charisma. Although the pair only reached 2nd placings at both Badminton & Burghley Horse Trials, they had huge success at two Olympic Games bringing home individual gold at the 1984 LA Olympics and Individual gold and team bronze at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Virginia (Ginny) Leng & Priceless
Priceless by name, priceless by nature was Ginny Leng’s top ride throughout the 1980’s. Together, the British rider and bay gelding accomplished impressive titles at the 1985 Badminton and 1983 Burghley Horse Trials as well as winning four team golds for Britain. A famous quote made about Ginny and Priceless came from fellow British Eventer, Lucinda Green, when she said of the pair “Partnerships like that usually happen once in a lifetime.”
Andrew Nicholson & Avebury
Another notable New Zealander to add to our list is Andrew Nicholson and his record breaking ride, Avebury. Together, Andrew and the grey gelding won the challenging Burghley Horse Trials a consecutive 3 years in a row in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The double A duo competed at 71 events, winning 27 of those and accumulated 2,113 British Eventing Points.
Which eventing duos are most memorable to you?
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