Date of birth: 31/03/1963
Rodney was on the gold medal-winning team at the 1989 Burghley European Championships with The Irishman II, who went on to win Badminton in 1991. The pair were also in the silver medal-winning team at the Stockholm World Equestrian Games in 1990.
In 1999 Rodney was an individual at the Luhmühlen Europeans but he and Flintstone had a fall when lying in the silver medal position. His bad luck continued at the 2000 Olympics, where he broke his ankle while riding back to the stables out in Sydney, and so missed the competition.
The horse who has put Rodney back in with a shout of championship success is the part Welsh Cob Langarth Darcy. Rodney took on the ride at the end of last year and has had a run of great results this year, finishing second in the advanced at Belton, the World Cup qualifier at Burnham Market, at Saumur and finally, in the CIC*** at Barbury Castle.
This consistency landed them the first reserve slot for this year’s European Championships at Pratoni del Vivaro (13-16 September). The pair were called up in the middle of August when Sharon Hunt’s Tankers Town had to be withdrawn from the squad.
Rodney and Langarth Darcy were third in the advanced intermediate at Highclere shortly before leaving for Pratoni, adding just 1.6 time-penalties to their dressage score of 28.8.
European Championship performance 2007
Langarth Darcy showed his inexperience in the dressage at Pratoni, but still scored 45.5 for 19th at this stage. But Rodney’s dreams fell apart when Langarth Darcy ran out at an arrowhead out of the third water, and then had two more stops. He finished 40th after two show jumps down.
Rodney is an experienced competitor who has been at the top of the sport for more than two decades. Along with his head girl Alex Franklin, he is a popular trainer — his former pupils include Irish team rider Sasha Stewart (née Harrison) — and is based in Wiltshire.