“Sadly his owner has decided to send him to a different rider, so my loss is Gemma Tattersall’s gain,” said Laura. “I’m beyond devastated as I have always believed in this horse — I knew from the first time I ever sat on him that he was going to be a superstar. I have had some amazing times with ‘Pee’ and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to ride such a talented horse. I wish Gemma the very best of luck with him.”
The horse’s owner Clive Smith, who met Laura when he controversially sent her two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kauto Star to ride in his retirement, told H&H: “It’s just a change, really. Gemma is a very strong rider and I’ve always thought of her very highly, as I have thought of Laura very highly. It’s just something that is in the best interests of Pamero.
“There’s nothing personal about it and Laura is a very fine rider. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. It’s just something I felt I ought to do. I’m more of a golfer and I was thinking of maybe pulling out of the sport [eventing], but one or two things developed and I thought I’d just give it a shot with Gemma.”
Pamero was entered for this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, but was withdrawn during the build-up, but Clive said this was nothing to do with the move.
“He got a bit of a knock three or four weeks ago,” he said.
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Pamero’s new rider, Gemma Tattersall, said this was “a seriously amazing surprise for us, but not for Laura Collett”.
“Laura has done the most wonderful job on this gorgeous talented horse and I hope I can follow in her footsteps and do him justice,” she said. “Whatever success I have on him will be down to her anyway. I better do a good job. Thank you Laura.”
Clive bought Pamero for Laura to ride in 2014. The pair finished third in the seven-year-old World Championships that year and was short-listed for the Olympics last year. He took eighth in the eight- and nine-year-old at Blenheim last year and then started his first four-star at Pau, but fell across country.