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3 things the horse world is talking about right now: Thursday 21 October 2021

Horse & Hound’s daily debrief, brought to you every weekday morning

  • 1. A top rider demonstrating impressive stickability

    Olivier Robert recovery

    While many of us have enjoyed watching Cossack display riders showing off incredible feats of balance, riding along spreadeagled up their horse’s necks, it’s not a skill you expect to see a top showjumper needing to deploy while powering around a 1.50m track. But 45-year-old Frenchman Olivier Robert showed his impressive horsemanship – and incredible stickability – when a dodgy jump by his 12-year-old stallion Vangog Du Mas Garnier pitched him a good two-thirds of the way up the horse’s neck while competing in Samorin, Slovakia last week. In the blink of an eye, Olivier managed to shift his weight back in to the saddle and take an urgent turn on the left rein to continue his round, while his horse appeared quite unperturbed by the acrobatics going on on top.

    Watch the video

    2. When even the very, very best of care isn’t enough

    Phoenix is being cared for by the expert grooms at Redwings

    The team here at H&H were saddened to hear a foal rescued with terrible burns all over his body after his stable was believed to have been set on fire intentionally, had not survived surgery undertaken to give him the very best chance of living close to a normal life. Phoenix, who arrived at Redwings Horse Sanctuary in August, had been receiving around-the-clock care with bandages reapplied to most of his body every one to two days. After extensive consultation with burns experts, it was decided that Phoenix’s best chance of undergoing a recovery that would allow him to live a good quality of life would be a skin graft. But he did not recover from the anaesthesia that was essential for the operation. Our thoughts are with the Redwings team, who gave him such excellent care during his time with them.

    Read tributes, plus how Redwings intends to commemorate his short life

    3. A special rug raising funds for a great cause

    With patterned horse rugs being all the rage, we think the Mark Todd Collection is on to a winner with its new black and red 250g medium weight turnout rug, complete with detachable neck, which is being sold to raise funds for the Royal British Legion in its centenary year. All sale proceeds will go to the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal, with a minimum donation of at least £20,000 having been pledged. Initial feedback from the equestrian community has been incredible positive, with some horse owners being disappointed there isn’t a wider range of rugs available using the pattern. Now there’s an idea to consider…

    Find out how to buy your own poppy-print rug

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