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Road to Olympia: ‘He has carried me through two pregnancies and a battle with breast cancer’: prolific heavyweight cob proves he’s still got it

A show cob who excelled as an open heavyweight for many years is adhering to the theory that many do get better with age.

The gelding Ballyell Turbo will be contending the SSADL ridden finals at the Olympia International Horse Show (16-22 December) with his owner and rider Lizzie Oseman. The pair qualified for the championship on their first attempt.

“‘Turbo’ was a hunter hirling in Ireland before show man Robert Oliver found him for me as a fun horse,” says Lizzie. “He was intended to run alongside my other show horses; this was 12 years ago. Little did we know Turbo would turn out to be one of the most prolific, consistent heavyweight cobs of all time.”

At just four years old, Turbo qualified for HOYS and has been placed in the top nine for a decade. Turbo and Lizzie also dominated in amateur ranks, taking the cob title at the Royal International on three occassions.

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Lizzie adds: “He has won at most major shows across the county including Royal Cornwall, Royal Windsor, Royal Three Counties, Bucks County, Surrey County, Rutland County, Devon County, North of England, South of England, National Championships, as well as winning many side saddle classes and working show horse championships. We have hunted with the Ledbury, Warwickshire and Kimblewick.

“Turbo has always been piloted by myself. He has carried me safely through two pregnancies and more recently through a very difficult time during my battle with breast cancer.

“Qualifying for Olympia is just the most perfect end to his competitive career. He is the most fabulous, kind and genuine horse.”

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