Tom McEwen has retired his 16-year-old four-star horse Dry Old Party.
The British eventer described “Tom” as “the most fun horse you could ever have” and told H&H he wants him “to have a happy time” in retirement.
Highlights for the pair include finishing 19th at Burghley in 2011. Two years later they came 19th at Badminton and 11th at Pau.
“He’s been awesome and a pleasure to have, but he was starting to struggle with scope and was not enjoying it last season,” Tom told H&H.
“He’s brilliant at top level, but not so competitive lower down. I didn’t want him to run around doing two-stars.
“He’s been amazing, he took me to my first four-star [Burghley] and he just flew round. He’s lovely at home and likes to mess around — he’s quite a character.”
Tom has owned the gelding since 2008 after being introduced to him when working for Pippa Funnell. The pair formed a strong partnership and moved up the levels together to four-star.
Since leaving Tom’s Wiltshire yard last month, the ex-racehorse is now enjoying a new career with a friend of Tom’s in Berkshire, doing dressage and Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) showing.
Tom explained that despite his eventing success, Dry Old Party was a “useless racehorse.”
The horse had been in training with Peter Winkworth. He ran seven times and his best result was fifth at Towcester in 2005.
“He was amazing on the gallops at home and schooling,” he said. “He had so much speed and never had a problem with distance, but didn’t want to do it on the racetrack.”
However, Tom is more confident at Dry Old Party’s chances in the show ring.
“He should be fun. He looks great, but I’m not too sure about the standing still part,” he added.
“He’s taught me massive amounts and gave me so much experience. I was seriously lucky to have him.”
Tom recently took him team chasing, where he had been “incredible”.
“Quite a few would have got excited about going back to eventing, but I wanted him to go and have fun.
“He deserves the best now, to have a happy time, and he’s too young to completely retire.”