Former European young riders team gold and individual silver medallist James Wingrave has decided to take Hungarian nationality.

James, 24, has been based in Hungary for three years after taking over the string competed by the late Jo Turi.

“This will enable me to keep moving forward,” said James. “Riding for a smaller nation is less of a risk than waiting in line and being at the whim of an unclear selection system. I have a heavy heart, but it is the best way to enhance my career.”

James has a strong string of international horses, spearheaded by the 10-year-old mare Agropoint Calira. Sadly, he has lost his long-term partner, Springmaster, who succumbed to colic at the end of January.

“The surgeons decided to operate, but couldn’t save her,” he said.

The 19-year-old mare won numerous major classes since being bought by James’s parents, as a young riders horse. She was still jumping at top level last season, with victories including the DoDo Masters title in Manerbio, Italy.

  • This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (2 March, ’06)
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