After 10 years at the top of his game, the great grey gelding Carlo 273 is to be retired. The German-bred Contender gelding was spotted in Europe by Laura Kraut and began his career with Nick Skelton, when owned by Beverley Widdowson. Carlo and Nick went on to win grands prix all over the world, as well as clinching team and individual bronze at the 2011 European championships.
At the end of 2012, Carlo was sold to leading Spanish rider Sergio Alvarez Moya and the pair went on to compete at World Cup finals, European championships and the 2016 Olympics, amassing a sizeable haul of rosettes on their travels. Now, at the age of 17, the decision has been made to retire Carlo. Here are just some of the galloping grey’s greatest moments…
1. A young Carlo first caught the eye at the 2008 Horse of the Year Show when Nick Skelton piloted him in the seven-year-old championship, jumping clear with just a time-fault to finish 10th. “I rated him very highly,” said Nick. “An out-and-out jumper, very careful.”
2. The pair were a key member of Nations Cup teams over the years, including winning the Aga Khan Trophy in Dublin in 2011, alongside Michael Whitaker (Amai), Scott Brash (Intertoy Z) and Robert Smith (Talan).
3. Nick and Carlo helped Great Britain to team bronze in Madrid at the 2011 European championships, also picking up a second medal of the same colour as individuals. “Two medals — we haven’t done that in a while,” said Nick.
4. Sergio Alvarez Moya teamed up with Carlo in September of 2012. “I have a few good horses but none has won as much as Carlo,” said Sergio at the time. “I have admired him for a long time.” The pair quickly gelled, contesting two European championships together — in 2015 where they finished 6th as individuals and here at Herning, Denmark, in 2013.
5. Sergio and Carlo, now owned by Marta Ortega, made it to two World Cup Finals, seen here in Gothenburg in 2013.
6. Carlo may have missed out on the 2012 Olympics when Big Star was Nick’s favoured mount for the Games, but four years later he had his moment to shine at the Rio Olympics under Sergio Alvarez Moya where they finished 20th — to Nick Skelton on Big Star.
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