The one-eyed wonder, Adventure De Kannan, who won the 2014 Hickstead Derby under Irish rider Trevor Breen, has been cleaning up rosettes of a different sort while on holiday in Ireland with his owner.
The 15-year-old Belgium warmblood, an H&H cover star after his big Derby win, is more usually seen jumping at the higher levels and on Nations Cup teams with Trevor. However, spectators at the Association of Irish Riding Clubs’ national one-day event were in for a treat when Addy’s owner Karen Swann decided to get back in the saddle.
“Addy loves being out competing and his favourite part is the cross-country — it’s so different from his ‘day job’ with Trevor, he loves jumping at speed. He gave me a fabulous run round the brilliant course at Kilguilkey and then to win was just the icing on the cake. He’s definitely a horse in a million,” said Karen.
“It was only my second event in seven years. I decided I wanted to do some more riding, so I thought I’d join my local riding club and it was the best thing I’ve ever done.”
The pair duly scooped the honours in the advanced primary division — jumping clear in the showjumping and cross-country, adding nothing to their 27 dressage score.
“I bought Addy as a three-year-old and competed him myself until he was seven. He was on DIY livery at Trevor’s yard and when I stopped riding, Trevor started competing him,” said Karen. “The fact that he’s lost his eye due to an eye condition has made no difference to his abilities or how he enjoys life.
“Trevor and I decided to semi-retire him and give him a longer holiday. He came back to me in August and I have him until next March when he will go back to Trevor to gear up for the 2016 Hickstead Derby,” she added.