Irish eventer’s Rio ride to be sold at auction

  • Irish eventer Clare Abbott’s Olympic ride is set to be sold at auction in November.

    Euro Prince (“Sparky”), who is owned by his breeders Cormac McKay and his father John, is in the line-up for the Goresbridge “Go For Gold” sale in Co. Wexford on 14-16 November.

    “The owners feel the time is right now to sell him on,” Clare told H&H today (26 September).
    “The horse is absolutely in great form.”

    The pair finished 37th individually at this year’s Olympics and helped Ireland to eighth place in the team competition.

    “I would love to keep the ride on him, we have built up a great partnership over the years,” she added.

    Clare has been riding the striking chestnut since his first season of eventing as a five-year-old in 2008.

    The part-time maths teacher, who made her Olympic debut at Rio, has enjoyed a string of success at top-level competition with Sparky.

    The combination won Ballindenisk CCI3* on their dressage score in 2014 and finished ninth at Pau CCI4* last October.

    They also jumped clear across country round Badminton in both 2014 and 2015; and their record together is full of top-10 placings at national and international events.

    In a statement on Clare’s Facebook page, the 29-year-old said the sale is due to “no fault” of Sparky’s.

    “My team and I are devastated about this as we have formed a fantastic partnership over the last seven years and I would most certainly like to keep the ride,” she said.

    “I had planned on contesting Badminton 2017 and future championships.”

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    In an interview with H&H ahead of the Olympics, Clare said the call-up to the squad was “a lifetime ambition achieved”.

    “I feel a great sense of satisfaction that it’s possible to do it with a small team of horses — all you need is one great horse with supportive owners and the right team at home,” she said.

    “You don’t need a big yard or fancy facilities. I have a professional approach, get the best training I can and do the best job I can with the horses. I hope that inspires people that you can do it.”

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