The 11-year-old Belgian-bred, owned by Marjorie and Clark Glasgow, flies to USA tomorrow (4 October) where 24-year-old Jessica will pick up the reins.
“Jessica is a very good rider and the pair have got on very well from the start — I think the way she rides will suit the mare very well,” Tim told H&H.
Fleur, by Thunder Van De Zuuthoeve, came to Tim’s Northamptonshire yard this time last year, having been produced and ridden to great success by Clark Glasgow, who has decided to take time away from the sport to concentrate on his medical studies at Cambridge University.
This season, the combination (pictured top) represented Great Britain in Nations Cups, finished fifth in the King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead with a double clear, and had been long-listed for the Olympic Games in Rio.
“She really came of age this year,” said Tim. “She was never for sale while the opportunity of riding at the Olympics was there, no matter how many people asked. But when that didn’t happen — and that was disappointing — Jan Tops made an appointment to see her after Gijon [in August].
“From my point of view, it is disappointing to lose a horse as good as this, but by the same token this was always the plan and the Glasgows and I are in this as partners — we’re talking to each other all the time and this was done with my complete cooperation. If at any point I’d said I didn’t want to sell the horse, they wouldn’t have done so.
“Of course it involved a lot of money, so it was a very good deal from a business point of view. But we really hope the mare works out well for Jessica and the partnership goes on to bear much fruit. We’ll be watching with interest.”
The Glasgow family have been great supporters of showjumping and Tim is very excited about a nine-year-old Andiamo mare called Miss Fritz that Marjorie Glasgow has also invested in. Miss Fritz will be in action with Tim in the international classes at Horse of the Year Show this week (5-9 October).
“This deal was no cut and run and that’s the great thing — it’s wonderful that the Glasgows will continue investing in horses,” said Tim. “But the Olympics came perhaps a little early for us, or maybe we were a little late for it, whichever way you want to look at it.
“But I’m most proud of the way Fleur jumped in the King George at Hickstead, and she hardly had a fence down at all the big shows like Falsterbo and Gijon, it really was a great partnership.”