Clifton Promise will officially be retired at this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (May 5-8), Jock Paget has announced.
The 2013 winner had originally been entered for next month’s event but Jock and owner Frances Stead, of Clifton Eventers, have since decided he should retire from competition.
“I always said if I prepare him the same as I always have every year, then I will know when it’s time to retire him – and now feels like the right time,” Jock told Horse & Country TV.
“He’s done two competitions this season at Aldon and Burnham and he doesn’t feel the way he has in the past. It’s important we retire a day early rather than a day late.”
The pair’s international successes included winning team bronze at the London 2012 Olympics, finishing seventh at the World Equestrian Games in 2010 and winning the New Zealand Eventer of the Year title in 2009 and 2010.
Jock’s website describes Clifton Promise as “always the perfect gentleman to all people around him. He would never even put his ears back at anyone, let alone dream of biting or kicking them”.
The official retirement will take place on the final day of Badminton 2016 (8 May).
“We are honoured to be able to officially retire him on the Sunday at Badminton. We would like to thank Hugh and his team for this privilege at an event that means so much to us,” said Jock.
Cliton Promise will enjoy his retirement at Jock’s yard near Hungerford.
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“He will retire with me and I will take great pleasure in watching him in the paddock and riding him at home,” said Jock.
“It wouldn’t have been the right end to a successful career if Frances, the team and I couldn’t retire him happy and healthy.
“I would like to thank Frances (Clifton Eventers) for giving me the ride on Promise all those years ago. Promise is the ultimate gentlemen – he has changed my life.”
Jock and Clifton Promise also won Burghley in 2013 but were stripped of the title after the horse tested positive for banned substance reserpine.
Jock was later cleared of all charges by an FEI tribunal and found to have no responsibility for the positive test, as it was found the contamination was linked to a liquid supplement fed to the horse.
Jock provided evidence to prove he had consulted the team vet and product manufacturer repeatedly to ensure the supplement was free of banned substances — and that Clifton Promise had tested negative four times after receiving the supplement.
Jock will compete at this year’s Badminton on his other ride, Clifton Lush.