A four-star event horse with a “heart of a lion” has been put down aged 16.
Kiwi Olympic rider Caroline Powell paid tribute to Onwards and Upwards who was put down on Sunday (24 February). The chestnut gelding, owned by Cameron and Mary Crawford, had been suffering with “soundness issues”.
Caroline, who started riding “Flash” when he was seven, said the gelding’s bravery, talent and athleticism were “truly unique”.
“He was such a courageous horse, he always wanted to do stuff – he wanted to compete.” Caroline told H&H.
“A few issues had crept up on him and we thought ‘we’ve got to do this – it’s time’,” she said. “Cameron and Mary have been very loyal owners of mine for a long time and have been very supportive.”
Flash and Caroline achieved a number of top-10 placings, including Burghley in 2016 where they finished eighth.
Caroline said Flash “showed how talented he was” as a young horse.
“He was such a jumper. Two showjumping rounds really stick out; one at Pau as a nine-year-old, and Le Lion as a seven-year-old. He jumped the height of the wings, he was stunning,” she said.
“To jump a small fence at home he was nothing – it was pretty hit and miss if he was going to do it but to do a big jump was just magic.”
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Caroline added the gelding was “very high maintenance” but the “most beautiful horse”.
“He was very insecure. You couldn’t travel him on his own and he would really struggle to do things on his own – he had a few issues, but he was the softest horse when you got him settled down,” she said.
“He had a heart of a lion, he was a competitor – he certainly wasn’t a happy hacker. He was a lovely horse once you got into the crux of him.”
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