‘The best pound I’ve ever spent’: horse bought for £1 takes national showjumping title #StoneleighStories

A horse bought for £1 and credited by his owner for helping her overcome a back injury has taken the 70cm club title at the British Showjumping (BS) national championships.

Carbonado Joe and Anne Coombs won by 10 seconds in the first final of the day on Friday (9 August).

Anne told H&H she first took the part-bred Friesian gelding on loan about six years ago.

“He was nappy – really nappy – but a nice person who just needed a different approach,” Anne said. “After two or three months, the owner, who was getting married, said: ‘Do you want him?’ And that was that.

“I was at work at the time, but I paid the £1 by bank transfer straight away.”

Anne said the 12-year-old “hates dressage” but is otherwise a good all-rounder. He was also ridden in the 80cm club championship by her friend Melanie Widdows, who rode him while Anne was out of action with her back issues.

“My body was broken,” she said. “I had a couple of back operations and I was struggling. But he made me get up in the morning, and the better he got, the more I was up for getting my back sorted.

“I look after it now, with supports, and sometimes I can’t ride but he’s just there for me.”

This was Anne and Joe’s first year of BS club jumping, so she was delighted to take the title against tough competition.

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“I was last to go and I knew I had a chance if we could leave them up,” she said.

“He knew he’d won – I couldn’t hold him in the lap of honour, then he came piaffing up to all his friends afterwards. He’s a real character.

“I’d never part with him, even if someone offered me millions of pounds. He’s my best friend, the best horse I’ve ever had – and the best £1 I’ve ever spent.”

For the full report from the national championships, don’t miss next week’s H&H magazine, out 15 August.