Successful Olympic event horse dies

  • Glengarrick, who was the best of the New Zealand event horses at the 2004 Olympics and 2006 World Championships, has died aged 29.

    The black gelding, by the thoroughbred stallion Beechcraft, had numerous successes with rider Heelan Tompkins. He was fifth at Chatsworth CIC3* in 2002 and second at Boekelo CCI3* that year. The following year he finished 17th at Badminton.

    In 2004 he was 10th in the World Cup qualifier at Chatsworth. He went on to finish seventh at the Athens Olympics that summer at the age of 18. Back in New Zealand, Glengarrick won Puhinui CCI3* in 2005.


    Glengarrick’s final championships appearance was at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen in 2006, by which time he was 20-years-old. But he still recorded an outstanding result, taking seventh — once again, the best New Zealand placing.

    After this WEG Heelan was unsure when or whether she would be able to afford to bring Glengarrick home to New Zealand, but an anonymous benefactor stepped in to help reunite her with the horse.

    “The way our team works is we get about 20% of our trip funded. This was the third time I’ve done a trip with ‘Nugget’ where I’ve been left at the other end wondering how to bring him home. I knew he was in good hands with Jacky Green until I could,” Heelan told H&H at the time.

    “Then an acquaintance — a horse lover who had followed Glengarrick’s career — emailed me and asked how I was getting on. I said everything was great, except that I was missing Nugget. He e-mailed back and said he’d send him home for me. I said no, but he organised everything.”

    The pair were reunited on 24 December 2006 and the horse enjoyed a long retirement in New Zealand.

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