Top international show jumper Robert Smith has launched a syndicate to keep his 2012 Olympic hope Vangelis S in Britain.

Following the sales of Pilgrim (news, 3 January), Arielle (news, 24 April) and Rolette (news, 16 October) overseas in the past year, the rider hopes the Robert Smith Partnership will enable Britain to retain a top jumper.

Robert told H&H: “The best horses are being sold out of the country but we want to keep them here.”

He added that he has been planning the partnership for a couple of years — but had been waiting for the right horse.

Robert said: “Vangelis S is ideal because he has come forward so quickly this year.”

Businessman Tom Gittens will run the partnership. He currently runs several syndicates in racing as well as an eventing syndicate for Oslo, who is with William Fox-Pitt.

He said: “Robert wanted to make sure the horse we went for was a genuine future star.”

British Equestrian Federation performance manager Will Connell told H&H: “Anything that keeps the top horses in the country is good news, as is getting more owners involved.

“Vangelis S is one of the horses we are keeping an eye on in the build-up to next year’s Europeans and is a top jumper.”

Vangelis S is a British Show Jumping Association gold elite accredited stallion — a top horse based on performance and stallion gradings. Bred by Sharon Baldwin, the 10-year-old is by Non-Stop out of Regina S. He recently gained World Cup points in Verona and was placed at the Horse of the Year Show.

The horse is being aimed at the 2009 Europeans and, ultimately, the 2012 Olympics.

At £25,000 plus VAT per 20th share, the scheme is not cheap. Shareholders get a percentage of all prize-winnings and stud earnings plus discounted straws of semen.

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This article was first published in Horse & Hound (4 December, ’08)