Farewell! 14 show animals who retired from the show ring during 2021

  • During 2021, we said farewell to a handful of incredible showing servants who have provided us with some incredible, inspiring moments during their careers.

    Here are 14 stars who bowed out of the show ring this year…

    Our Cashel Blue

    The late Lady Caroline Tyrrell’s “Blue,” one of the most garlanded cob/coloured contenders in history, bowed out at the very top at the Royal International (RIHS) in July, having won the Winston Churchill supreme horse trophy for rider/producer Allister Hood — who also retired at this show and is the reigning Equestrian Personality of the Year — on a perfect score of 30/30. The 2016 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) supreme champion is now enjoying a season’s hunting.


    Jayne Ross and her team bid an emotional farewell to Kay Campbell’s prolific-winning riding horse mare Casino at HOYS, after standing second in a very strong class. The 13-year-old small campaigner, a class winner four times and champion here in 2019, also won at RIHS as well as many county and national titles. She is now destined for the maternity wing at her owner’s home. “There wasn’t a dry eye on the yard when we said goodbye to her,” said Jayne.

    Bowland Lucky Slipper

    Magnus Nicholson made a final appearance at HOYS on the prolific-winning pure-bred Irish Draught heavyweight hunter to stand second in the class for the third time in five starts. The grey 13-year-old, bred by Julie Cornthwaite at the Bowland Stud, is a former RIHS winner and also scored all over the country, including Royal Windsor, Great Yorkshire, Three Counties, Royal Highland and BSHA national championships, as well as being consistently successful at the ID breed show. He now retires to the dressage arena and hunting field with the Nicholsons’ vet, Philip Jones.


    Suzannah Welby’s 2016 HOYS hack champion — known as “Chalky” at home — was another making a final ring appearance at Birmingham, partnered by producer Jo Bates. The Kilvington Scoundrel 11-year-old large was class runner-up here, after another successful season which included the title at the Hickstead Derby meeting. The former RIHS and dual-Royal Windsor champion is now destined for “happy hacking” with Jo’s great friend, Annette Hance.

    Louvaine Rooney

    The home-producing Cookson family’s consistently successful intermediate-turned-small hunter is headed for the hunting field after giving owner/rider/ Megan Cookson — an NHS pharmacist — a first HOYS small hunter victory this year. Now 15, Rooney has been with the family for nine years, garnering every major intermediate title — including four North of England £1000 supremes — and landing amateur small hunter titles at Hickstead.

    Broadshard Simplicity

    Hertfordshire-based Dan Williams has retired the former HOYS riding horse winner and twice HOYS supreme horse. Dan, then an amateur but now producing professionally, took on “Saucy” from Jayne Ross in 2016 and had his HOYS debut with him. The pair had their best season in 2019, including being placed at RIHS and qualifying for HOYS. Now 13, “Saucy” made his final ring appearance at the BSHA National Championships and will now hack out with Dan at home. “Put simply, Saucy changed my life,” said Dan.

    Paddock Rio

    Lynne Wilson’s ultra-successful 11-year-old Welsh section B stallion — a former H&H cover star —has retired from the show ring after standing supreme at the NPS Great British In-hand Show in September. During a stellar career shown by Colin Tibbey, Rio won the Royal Welsh three times — standing male champion in 2017 — and qualified for the in-hand supreme at HOYS three times. He will continue to stand at stud.


    Nina Armstrong-Finlay retired her beloved maxi campaigner from showing at the beginning of this year. The open and amateur RIHS winner, now 17, has been with Nina for 12 years, having been found in Ireland as a hireling. “Luca” was Nina’s first super-successful cob and qualified for HOYS nine years running. He is currently enjoying life as a nanny to the younger horses and acting as lead rein “pony” for Nina’s daughter, Allegra, aged three. “His warm-up was always the walk from the lorry to the ring,” said Nina. “There will never be an easier or kinder horse in my life — I really struck gold when I bought him.”

    Barkway Blackjack

    The legendary lead rein and first ridden gelding retired after the STARS show this month [November], aged 23. “Stan The Man,” as he is known, has carried numerous little jockeys to HOYS, RIHS, BSPS and county show success, and also qualified twice for the senior championship at Olympia with the home-producing Russell family, who have had him for the last five years and with whom he will now do occasional in-hand shows. “He has the heart of a lion and loves work so we will still give him a few trips out to shows to keep his social life up as he enjoys it too much just to throw him in a field,” said Lyndsay Russell. “He’s been the pony of a lifetime for so many children and still has the mentality of a three-year-old.”

    Colbeach Mark Of Distinction

    “Barney,” owned by home-producer/rider Georgie Steele, has now retired from showing aged 18. His time in top-level hacks began when finishing second at HOYS in the SEIB Search For A Star final, after which he had a highly successful open career. He was also a prolific winner in ladies’ classes, where he was supreme ladies show horse at the BSHA national championships in 2016. He will now concentrate on side-saddle activities, including concours d’elegance in which sphere he has been national champion six times.

    I’m A Diamond

    “Jack,” Katy Green’s uber-consistent heavyweight working hunter who survived a colic operation this year, has bowed out at the age of 18 after contesting his final HOYS this term for just one pole down. The 2019 RIHS and three-times Royal Windsor winner has been with Katy since he was five, and qualified for RIHS and HOYS every year since then. “He’s not totally retired, though — he would be furious,” said Katy. “He won’t do workers anymore, but he can show jump, arena event and just live like the king he is.”


    Sofie Carter’s 18-year-old small riding horse and large intermediate retired after finishing third at the BSHA national championships in September. “Denzil” began his showing career at six, and since then has qualified for RIHS every year as a riding horse, and also as an intermediate when Sofie was still in the class; he made three appearances at HOYS. Originally produced by Katie Jerram-Hunnable, he campaigned from home since 2012 was consistently in the top three in the amateur home-produced class at the national championships, also taking part in the senior in-hand showing final at RIHS this term. Following his final show ring appearance, he formed part of the successful Saffron Walden dressage team in his British Riding Clubs qualifier, and will take part in the final at Arena UK next March.

    Hilin Hynod

    The successful show pony — a pure-bred Welsh section B — has retired aged 13 after winning the first ridden class at RIHS this year for Daisy Trebble. “Woody” is yet another invaluable pony who has introduced several children to the showring, including Mia Donaldson and Matilda Holmes — with whom he was Blue Riband home produced supreme at the BSPS championships in 2019 — and has qualified for HOYS and RIHS every year since he was five. He is now destined for nanny duties at the Trebble family’s Devon-based Sampfordpark stud.


    The CHAPS legend made his final appearance at this year’s championship show — aged 39 and still on a winning streak. Megan Champney’s multi-talented partner of more than 20 years won the Lostock Blue performance and working performance classes and collected his fourth veteran title. The little grey looked as exuberant as ever, producing storming gallops which put many of his much-younger rivals to shame. “He owes me nothing and I owe him the absolute world, so the least we can do for him is give him a happy retirement of hunting, beach rides and hacking,” said Megan.

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