Tales from Windsor: former five-star eventer Happy Times takes show ring by storm

  • The former five-star event horse Happy Times was spotted in the show ring at the 2021 Royal Windsor Horse Show. 

    The gelding, who is now 22, was the long-time partner of Sam Griffiths. During his career, Happy’s achievements included eleven starts at CCI4* and pots on the Australian team at the London 2012 Olympics and the 2010 World Equestrian Games. He bowed out from the sport at Burghley in 2018. Happy is still owned by Sam, Dinah Posford and Juliet Donald.

    Happy made his Windsor debut with show rider Sarah Gwilliam. Since his retirement three years ago, he’s been living with Frances ‘Mouse’ Berry, who looked after him when he was competing at top level. 

    “Mouse, who I’ve known for years, knows Happy inside out,” said Sarah. “One day she called me and said that as he was loving his work and looked too good to be sitting in the field, that we should show him as a veteran.”

    In 2019, Happy won at Frome show but due to lockdown his veteran campaign was cut short.

    “We missed a few of the early SSADL qualifiers, but I was delighted to take him to Windsor and stand second in a strong ridden class,” added Sarah, who won here with Sar Cassidy-Hill’s Imperial Ruby in the Retraining of Racehorses ranks.

    “His owners, Juliet and Dinah, were there to support him. He’s very well schooled thanks to Sam’s work and he loved the occasion. He rises to it and a show like Windsor is right up his street. He could hear the applause coming from the main arena and he was looking around thinking ‘is that for me’.”

    Continued below…

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    Mouse rides and cares for Happy on a daily basis and Sarah visits him for show preparation a few times a month:

    “When he got home Mouse said he was on a high,” added Sarah. “You wouldn’t think he’s 22; he’s just incredible. I feel very lucky to be able to ride a horse like him.”

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