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Bill Twomey’s Olympic ride returns to international showjumping aged 18

Billy Twomey’s 2012 Olympic ride Tinka’s Serenade has returned to top flight international competition at the age of 18.

The British-bred chestnut mare by Tinka’s Boy last competed internationally in Hamburg, Germany, in May 2014 before taking some time out for breeding via embryo transfer.

She recently returned to national competition with Billy’s stable jockey Beth Vernon and the World Cup show in Bordeaux, France (6-8 February) marked her return to five-star level where she competed in two of the warm-up classes with the Irishman.

“She’s 18 now so we’ll just have to see how she goes back at this level,” Billy told H&H. “She’s been off for a while now and this was her first real international show back, so we’re taking it easy, but she felt good and jumped alright with just a time-fault in the first class.

“But at this age, if for whatever reason she’s not happy doing it at this level, I expect the owners [Sue and Ed Davies] will decide she’ll retire for breeding.”

Unfortunately this latest round of embryo transfer failed to take in the recipient mare, but Tinka’s Serenade already has a colt foal, also via embryo transfer, taken straight after the London Olympics. The resulting foal “Delboy”, by Luidam, was born in 2013.

Billy and Tinka’s extensive list of career highlights includes wins in the Basel grand prix and the Rolex grand prix in Zurich, 2011, they took the leading showjumper of the year at Horse of the Year Show in 2013 and were victorious in the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final in Paris, France, in 2011. The combination have represented Ireland many times in Nations Cup competition, in the world championships in 2010, the European championships in Madrid in 2011 and they competed as individuals at the London Olympics in 2012.

Don’t miss this week’s issue of Horse & Hound (out 12 February) for the full report from the World Cup show in Bordeaux, where Billy’s fellow Irishman Bertram Allen won his second qualifier of the season.

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