British showjumper Tim Gredley has retired his top horse Unex Omelli at the age of 19.
“It’s sad, but he’d gone well at a couple of shows recently so it was an easy decision to retire him while he was still sound and well in himself,” Tim told H&H.
The Burggraaf x Equador gelding came to Tim as a seven-year-old via Emile Hendrix in Holland.
In the space of three years they progressed from junior to senior championships, winning team gold and individual silver at the junior European championships in 2004, before representing Great Britain at the young rider Europeans in 2005 and the world championships in Aachen, 2006. Tim and Omelli have appeared in Nations Cups teams and won at every level from two- to five-star.
“He brought me right through the early stages of my career,” said Tim. “There are probably two highlights for me — winning the Aga Khan trophy [for the Nations Cup] in Dublin  and winning the grand prix in Munich [the same year].
His Munich win came when he beat the great German combination of Carsten-Otto Nagel and Corradina in a thrilling jump-off, while in Dublin he was joined by Peter Charles (Murka’s Rupert R), Robert Smith (Vangelis S) and Nick Skelton (Arko III) to win the coveted trophy for his country.
“He was just brilliant — even towards the end of his career he was still winning speed classes,” added Tim. “It would be hard to find a more competitive horse.”
“Ollie” remains on the Gredleys’ yard in Newmarket and the plan is to keep him active in his retirement, leading out the racehorses.
“He’s being ridden every day and still goes a bit crazy when he sees the truck come out though,” said Tim. “He’s been a great servant and I hope he continues to enjoy life.”