William’s website reported this week: “Michael and Jane Kier [owners] and I felt that he has done so much for us over the years and that he owed us nothing.
“The time feels right to retire him while he is still fit and well and we are very happy that he will enjoy a busy retirement with Lucy Jones, who used to look after him when she was part of the team here.
“He has been the most brilliant horse, far exceeding all of our expectations.”
By Octante, the 17hh Macchiato was bred in Argentina and raced in Australia before William bought him from a video. He is one of three Bramham winners William has acquired in this way via agent Sharon Ridgway – the others are 2009 winner Navigator and 2005 victor Mr Dumbledore.
William did not immediately jump for the horse because he is not the best mover, admitting at the time of Macchiato’s Bramham win: “I sat on the video for a few months umming and ahhing about his trot and found nothing better.”
Once at the Fox-Pitt yard Macchiato was kicked in the head in the field, but his luck turned when he was the surprise winner of the British intermediate championships in 2006.
Although never the flashest horse in William’s string, Macchiato turned in some excellent results. William often remarked that he was a horse who really tried and his consistency in the cross-country and showjumping generally pulled him up the order after dressage.
Macchiato won Luhm ¼hlen in 2008 on his four-star debut and also completed six other four-stars, finishing fifth at Badminton 2009, sixth at Burghley 2010 and ninth at Luhm ¼hlen last year. He also won Blair – surviving a very dicey moment across country when he and William bounced back up together despite Macchiato’s tummy scraping the floor – and Bramham CCI***s in 2007. In all, he collected 1241 British Eventing points during his career.