‘He was an absolute gentleman’: farewell to showman cob who made dreams come true

  • Hayley Erner’s prolific heavyweight show cob Its Abracobdabra has been put down aged 17 after an injury sustained in the field.

    Its Abracobdabra, who was known as Magic at home, was a two-time Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) winner, once with his former producer Jayne Ross in the open heavyweight final and secondly with Hayley who won the amateur equivalent a few years later.

    Rosemary Hetherington was responsible for finding Magic in Ireland as a four-year-old. He joined Team Ross to begin his ridden career, where he tallied an impressive CV, including multiple county show wins, his Hickstead victory and a second-place finish at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

    He then joined Rachel McCourt, then Hayley bought him after HOYS in 2016.

    “Jayne rang me to say that Rachel was considering selling Magic and that she thought he’d be the perfect fit for me,” said Hayley. “I bought him unseen and we began our partnership the following year.”

    Hayley and Magic enjoyed success at the RIHS, North of England, the British Show Horse Association (BSHA) national championships and they also appeared at the HOYS final.

    “He was the loveliest horse and he was an absolute gentleman,” Hayley added. “He wasn’t the easiest to produce as he was a sensitive soul, but he always tried very hard and we had a storming time together over two seasons.

    “He was such a mover — he floated along in trot while always lowering and going in the gallop. He was like a Rolls Royce to ride.”

    Magic was retired from the show ring after HOYS in 2018. He spent the rest of his days with Alison Gregg who enjoyed him at home as well as in other disciplines, such as long-distance riding and working equitation.

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