‘He touched many hearts’: farewell to grand prix dressage horse

  • Dressage rider Shaun Mandy has paid tribute to his “horse of a lifetime” Euphoria E, who was put down on Saturday (30 April) aged 13.

    Shaun told H&H that “Inky”, who he owned with Ben Ambrose, went down with a sudden and severe bout of colic and nothing could be done to save him.

    Shaun had owned the son of London 2012 team gold medallist Uthopia for seven years, taking him from elementary to winning the grand prix at Parwood, Surrey, last autumn, Inky’s last competitive outing.

    “He was a true horse of a lifetime,” Shaun said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to train with Carl Hester for the last two years and he absolutely loved him. He was my first grand prix horse and I learned so much from him.”

    Shaun described Inky, on whom he intended to compete at Hickstead this year and try to qualify for an international, as a “super kind horse”.

    “He wouldn’t hurt a fly; he’d come off the lorry at a show and be just the same. He was a joy to work with and handle and whenever he saw me, he’d call out. A really gentle, beautiful horse.”

    Shaun said that although breaking the 70% barrier at grand prix, which he and Inky achieved at Parwood, was a “dream”, the highlight for him of the past seven years was the partnership itself.

    “I’ve learned so much from him; in my riding career and my coaching career,” he said. “I’ve personally had a lot of ups and downs over the last few years and he’s been the one consistent thing in my life, and I’m so grateful.

    “The last six months had been amazing; he had a minor suspensory injury but had come back into work after a few months off and he was feeling so well and so up for it. That will always be special, the way he came back, and in a way, because he felt so brilliant, he went out on a high.”

    Shaun said he had been “inundated” with messages and calls since Inky’s death.

    “He touched the hearts of many people,” he said.

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