Carol Bardo’s champion riding horse The Philanderer is “loving life” as a happy hacker and is even embarking on a modelling career, says his new rider.

The 11-year-old gelding was retired from competition after injuring a tendon “careering around” with field-mate Comberton Clancy.

The former Horse of the Year Show and Royal International Horse Show supreme horse is now back in ridden work and moved into his new yard, with Sara Egan, a week ago.

Sara, whose partner Andrew von Oostum is master of the Staff College and RMA Sandhurst Draghounds, told H&H that “Phil” had very much enjoyed his first hack, in Bramshill Forest, Hants, last weekend.

“He can be quirky, but he’s been an absolute gentleman in the time he’s been here,” she said.

“Andrew told me not to tell Carol that he got mud on his toes hacking, in case she sent someone round with shampoo and a hairdryer!” she added.

Carol told H&H that she offered Phil to Sara – who rides for her twice a week – because she wanted him to “go and do something nice”.

“Sara has fantastic local hacking, is completely reliable and sensible and has always adored him,” said Carol.

But although Phil has retired from the showring, he won’t be able to avoid the coat polish and mane detangler just yet.

Sara and Andrew run a website selling showing items – www.totalimpactequestrian.co.uk – and Phil will be modelling all their products.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (3 May 2012)