‘If he was in a good mood he was untouchable’ — Farewell to multi-garlanded roan Welsh section B

  • Much loved and hughley successful Welsh section B Muskerry Blue Danube has passed away aged 21 after a bout of colic.

    The striking roan gelding, known as Billie at home, was crowned mountain and moorland (M&M) ridden supreme at the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) in 2009 ridden by Alex Bates. Later that season he also landed the Welsh section B of the Year title at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS). He was also a three-time Olympia finalist.

    Billie was produced by native specialist Sam Roberts for some of his long career, winning the RIHS with her and standing supreme at the BSPS Heritage championships in 2008.

    “We brought Billie from Sam and Suzi (Roberts) in 2005 and I went to HOYS on him that year at 11 years old,” said Alex. “A few years later Sam and Suzi became my producers and have been on and off ever since. We always knew Billie was going to be special; he had the most natural movement and a trot to die for.

    “He was such a character and he could be quirky but everyone loved him for it. If he was in a good mood he was untouchable. Catch him in a bad mood and we wouldn’t make it to the ring. But it was so worth it for those times he performed; he made every dream of ours come true.”

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    Sam was originally sent Billie to school.

    “The owner’s circumstances then changed and we brought him,” she explained. “You could certainly say he caught the eye. He was as big a personality to look after as he was to ride. When on form he gave his heart and was breathtaking.

    “He was adored by the Bates family; they treated him like a king. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity I had to be involved with him. I think only of my time with him with a giggle as he always did things his way.”

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