‘Thank you, my soulmate’: sad farewell to $2,000 racehorse who became a five-star eventer

  • More Inspiration, the former racehorse who cost $2,000 (£1,575) and went on to become a five-star eventer, has died in retirement aged 18.

    Canadian eventer Holly Jacks-Smither bought “Morris” as a four-year-old off-the-track-Thoroughbred (OTTB) as a project to sell on. During his racing career he claimed four wins from 28 starts.

    “My $2,000 sales investment who I couldn’t sell, stuck around to change my life,” said Holly.

    Holly produced Morris up the levels, and they completed their first CCI4*-L in May 2015. Later that year they were selected to represent Canada at CHIO Aachen.

    In 2017 Holly and Morris made their five-star debut at the Kentucky Three-Day Event. They returned to Kentucky the following year, and in 2019 they enjoyed their highest five-star placing, 12th at Pau in France. Morris retired from international competition in 2021 aged 16.

    “If it wasn’t for you Morris, I would have been on a totally different career path,” said Holly. “You taught me that hard work truly pays off; that thinking outside the box is a must to be successful with the tricky ones, that a big heart matters more than confirmation, and that hard work and perseverance get results.

    “From a gallop girl at Woodbine Race track where we met, to my first Nations Cup in Aachen, Germany, my first five-star at Kentucky, and my first European five-star in Pau, France… we did it all together.”

    Holly added that she will never have another horse like Morris.

    “Thank you for challenging me, teaching me and giving me so much joy. But most importantly, thank you for being my soulmate and making me believe that life can be changed because of one special OTTB and a dream,” she said, adding thanks to all of her team.

    “Make sure you have a good buck and squeal as you gallop through heaven’s doors. I’ll meet you on the other side. It was a hell of a ride buddy.”

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