Midnight Dazzler – the quirky four-star horse who eventually clicked with Harry Meade to form a brilliant partnership – has died at the age of 22.
“Bobby” or “Bobs” died in his field “playing with his pals” at his owner Carolyn Lissasck’s farm in Wiltshire on Harry’s 29th birthday, 4 July.
“Bobs’ two joys in life were jumping and playing out in the field with his pals at Grange Farm,” said Carolyn.
“He never grew up, but just made it clear to us all what he enjoyed in life.”
The son of Catherston Dazzler was sent to Harry in 2003 with a history of being difficult in the dressage and an erratic jumper. He had previously been ridden by Katie Parker, Darrell Scaife and William Fox-Pitt.
At Chatsworth in 2005, Harry and Bobs had three falls in a single competition – but after completing their first Badminton in 2006, they never had another cross-country jumping fault.
Their best results were eighth at Burghley in 2007 and 10th at Badminton in 2009, when Bobs was 19 – which meant that he equalled Hooray Henry II and Over to You’s record as the oldest horse to complete the event. Bobs completed Burghley four times and Badminton five times.
“The understanding and trust between them was for all to see – they had the to-die-for relationship,” said Mrs Lissack.
Bobs was retired in 2010 and was competed last season by the Lissack’s daughter, Lucy, with whom he won an open novice under-18 section at Bicton.
His last outing with Harry was at a scurry around the Lissacks’ farm last December.
“Bobs started shaking – he knew he would have fun with Harry,” said Mrs Lissack.
“They jumped round the old horse trials course, plus endless hedges with the entire field trailing in their wake!” she added.