From four-star to schoolmaster: Olympic eventer enjoys new career

  • Andrew Hoy’s four-star campaigner Rutherglen is enjoying his new career as a schoolmaster.

    The German-bred gelding competed at 10 CCI4*s, finished 13th individually at London 2012 and has numerous top-10 placings at three-star.

    The pair competed together at four of the world’s six four-star events, Kentucky, Luhmühlen, Badminton and Burghley.

    Among their top results were a win at Le Pin au Haras CIC3* in 2015, sixth at Luhmühlen CCI4* in 2012 and third at Blair Castle CCI3* in 2011.

    They also posted one of the best dressage marks in British Eventing (BE) history at a pre-Burghley run at Keysoe in 2016, where the pair posted a remarkable score of eight penalties (92%). Their test sheet featured six 10s.

    Their last event together was the Millstreet CIC3* in August 2017, where they finished third.

    Andrew, who bought Rutherglen as a four-year-old, explained he put “a lot of thought” into the horse’s step down from top-level competition.

    “He has not only been a sporting partner, he has been — and will always be — a friend,” said Andrew.

    “He was the first horse for our little daughter Philippa to sit on — because I trust him, impeccably, always.

    “When I made the decision that at 15 years of age the time has come for him to take life a little slower, after so many years at the top level, I gave it a lot of thought.

    “Selling him has never been an option – he is a member of the family.

    “Retiring him to the field – he would just be bored.

    He has always been the ‘king of the castle’ and he still wants to be.”

    Andrew added one of his students, Isabel Finemore, was looking for a schoolmaster for the transition for ponies to horses.

    Credit: Andrew Hoy Eventing

    “It seemed like a good idea in ‘theory’ – but how would our little ‘Formula 1 machine’ take to being a schoolmaster?” added Andrew.

    “The answer is — like a fish to water. Isabel and Rutherglen have been getting on ‘like a match made in heaven’ and I have been delighted to see in our daily work how much he is supporting her, but at the same time requiring very correct riding and instructions.

    “Isabel is one of the most talented young girls I have worked with, but also one of the most polite, most determined and most kind, so I am delighted to know Rutherglen in ‘safe hands’ with her and her family.

    “I will continue to support their journey, alongside her home coach Barbara Selmayr, and I am looking forward to a very exciting time ahead.”

    Isabel and Rutherglen had their first run together at Lincolnshire Horse Trials in the BE100open on 16 March.

    They jumped a double clear to finish sixth, on their dressage mark of 31.8.

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    Andrew said it was emotional to watch him in his new job.

    “I was overwhelmed to see how much he enjoyed himself and how considerate and supportive he was towards his new pilot,” he added.

    “Rutherglen and I have had the most wonderful partnership.

    Credit: Andrew Hoy Eventing

    “I bought him as a four-year-old in Germany and we have had a very special time together, with the biggest highlight surely being the 2012 London Olympic Games.

    “Rutherglen, at just nine years of age, was one of the youngest horses at the Games and the youngest horse in the Australian team — for him to finish with the best result of any Australian combination in all three Olympic disciplines dressage, jumping and eventing was a fabulous result.”

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