Top showjumper New Orleans will now be ridden by British rider Ben Talbot.

The 16-year-old gelding was formerly ridden by Abdullah Al Sharbatly.

The Saudi Olympic rider last partnered the horse at the Vienna GCT on 20 September.

“Ben is a great friend of mine and I do wish him luck with his new ride,” said Abdullah.

Ben added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to have a world class horse in my team. I am very excited about the future with New Orleans and I intend to compete with him at the highest level of the sport.”

New Orleans (Colbert x Carthago) previously had a successful career with Dutch rider Gerco Schröder.

Abdullah bought the horse in the Eurocommerce auction for €210,00 last year.

With Gerco, New Orleans finished in fourth position at the European Championships in Madrid and gained many grands prix placings at five-star level.

A group of 30 showjumpers went up for sale in the online auction after a Dutch court ruled in March 2014 that Rabobank has a right to collect assets from the bankrupt owner, Eurocommerce Stables.

“New Orleans is a top great horse and has performed very well with Gerco and has the same quality and capability to jump those fences,” added Abdullah.

“I hope now he can finish his wonderful career in the top form and of course with a great success.”

During the sale Olympic silver medal-winning showjumper London was also sold, for €8.6 million to the Glock Horse Performance Centre.

Other lots in the auction included top Dutch showjumpers, included Gerco’s Callahan (€180,000) and Seoul (€307,500); Wout-Jan van der Schan’s Capetown (€187,000) and Sacramento (€38,000) and Albert Voorn’s Tobalio (€175,000).

Sacramento (Leendert x Corlando) went to Ben from Abdullah a couple of months ago.