1. That phenomenal European Eventing Championship result
What a competition the European Eventing Championships in Avenches turned out to be – for the first time since 1991, there was an all-British championship podium. And with three in the top three, of course that meant the team taking top honours as well, capping off an incredible year for British eventing. Nicola Wilson took individual gold on the wonderful 10-year-old gelding JL Dublin, completing on their dressage score – something silver medallists Piggy March and Brookfield Inocent managed to do as well. Sarah Bullimore took bronze on her diminutive home-bred Corouet.
2. Sarah Bullimore making her championship selection count
Sarah Bullimore’s bronze medal at the European Eventing Championships was a long time in the making, and all the more emotional for it. As Sarah said: “Just to even get here [to a championship] has taken me 10 years. I’ve been on the reserve list all those years and to finally actually be picked straight out is a major, major thing.” What’s more, Sarah pulled off this success riding a 15.2hh home-bred, Corouet, who is out of the mare who gave her her last European championship appearance – Lilly Corinne.
3. Nick Skelton’s Athen’s 2004 ride Arko being cloned
Arko won grands prix across the globe with Nick Skelton, was 10th at Athens 2004, and was the horse Nick credited with getting him back in the saddle after he broke his neck in a riding accident in 2000. Seven months after the stallion’s death, his clone has been born – generated from a small skin sample from Arko. It has not yet been decided whether the foal will go on to have a competition career – the main intention is for him to be a breeding sire. Owners the Hales family said: “It was an extremely sad day for our family when we lost Arko, he was truly a horse of a lifetime. The birth of his clone was very emotional. We believe it is not only exciting for our sport worldwide, but especially for the future of British breeding for years to come. We look forward to breeding many more champions from this wonderful bloodline.”
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