A legend of eventing retires today. It has been announced that Supreme Rock, the horse who captured the hearts of eventing enthusiasts around the world, will not compete again.
Rocky’s rider, Pippa Funnell, and his owners, Emma Pitt and Lady Lewthwaite, took the decision after the 17-year-old bay gelding suffered a small injury while training for next week’s Badminton.
“Rocky has been a truly fantastic horse and we feel privileged to have owned him,” say Pitt and Lewthwaite. “We have enjoyed so much success and fun with him and while announcing his retirement from competition is sad, he deserves a long and happy retirement.”
Bred in Ireland, Rocky, by Edmund Burke out of Rineen Classic, had a hugely successful career. He gave Funnell her first win at four-star level and, together, they were the cornerstone of the British eventing team, winning, among others, the team Bronze Medal at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez in 2002.
Funnell and Rocky won two consecutive times at Badminton in 2002 and 2003, and landed two individual European titles in Luhmuhlen in 1999 and in Pau in 2001. Between the two Euro championships, they managed to get a team silver medal medal at the Sidney Olympics in 2000. And, together with Primmore’s Pride, Rocky helped Funnell bag the greatest eventing prize of all times, the Rolex Grand Slam, in 2003.
During his 10 years’ competing, Rocky won £89,095 – the highest prize money for any eventer — and gained 1494 points to lie in fifth position in the top points table of all time.
“To have ridden a horse of this calibre has been a huge honour,” says Funnell. “Being a total delight to work with at all times, Rocky has given us all many great moments and thanks go to him for taking me to the very top of the sport. He will be greatly missed but has well earned his rest.”