Say what? The quotes from 2016 that put a smile on our face (or got us thinking)

  • A year’s worth of reporting by Horse & Hound garners some memorable quotes from our top riders, whether in Rio or on home soil

    Gems from Rio…

    “I never want anyone to compare any horse I ride to Valegro — there will never be another like him” — Charlotte Dujardin, having taken individual gold at Rio

    “It’s a bloody nightmare — we have to share a room and she’s always telling me off for leaving the floor wet or something. I’d like to draw a line down the middle of the room” — Tim Price on being on a Rio team with wife Jonelle

    “Big Star should have been on that podium too — without him, I wouldn’t have been there” — Nick Skelton after taking the individual gold medal

    “I’m really pleased with his brain and that he put in a solid test considering he was being a bit of a village idiot outside” — Pippa Funnell on Billy The Biz’s Olympic dressage test

    “Everything started draining through my body. I thought of all the work we’ve done with Big Star — it’s all paid off” — Big Star’s groom Mark Beever on his experience in Rio

    “It was definitely a clenching with the buttocks moment” — Jonty Evans on Cooley Rorkes Drift being held at the final trot-up in Rio

    “We all had the horror that we might be on the first team not to win gold” — Paralympian Anne Dunham on Britain’s pressure to keep up its golden record

    … and the rest of the year

    “The Queen tapped me on the arm and said, ‘It’s all going rather well, isn’t it?’” — Her Majesty’s racing adviser John Warren on Dartmouth’s win at Royal Ascot

    “If I was the judge at C, I’d have run for the hills” — Sarah Bullimore on Reve Du Rouet bolting down the centreline in the dressage at Badminton

    “We say thank you to everybody who has supported us and him but, in a funny way, I think this was Sprinter’s own way of saying thanks” — trainer Nicky Henderson after (the now retired) Sprinter Sacre’s win in the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival

    “I’ve been milking cows for 25 years and now I’m training Thistlecrack and Cue Card, it’s unbelievable” — trainer Colin Tizzard after Thistlecrack won his chasing debut at Chepstow

    “You get to Saturday morning and think you could be a retired middle-aged mother-of-two watching this on TV, but when it goes like that, that’s why you keep going” — Tina Cook on a clear in the time at Badminton on Star Witness

    “It felt like he’d looked at the course plan and just did it for me” — Andrew Nicholson on riding Nereo cross-country at Burghley, his first British four-star since his serious fall in August 2015

    “I remember someone looking at a lovely mare I showed — who went on to be coloured champion at Horse of the Year Show — and asking why I had a cow on the yard” — columnist Katie Jerram on the days before coloured classes went mainstream.

    “I hate to see a cob that you need a chainsaw to take its ergots off and a dock like an oak tree” — producer Simon Reynolds likes a show cob with real quality, not an agricultural animal in disguise

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