Laura Collett retires Rayef from eventing

  • Eventer Laura Collett has retired her 4-star ride Rayef.

    The 15-year-old will be staying with Laura at her Lambourn yard to enjoy his retirement.

    “We’d already decided not to do a 3-day again,” Laura told H&H. “He’s had leg injuries and he doesn’t stand up to the work as he used to.

    “He’s feeling fantastic, but he just doesn’t seem to love eventing anymore.”

    The pair won team and individual gold at the junior Europeans in 2007 and the young rider Europeans in 2009.

    He was 8th on his Badminton debut in 2011, gaining Laura her first senior squad call-up, for the European Championships that year.

    Rayef was also long-listed for the London Olympics.

    Rayef was being aimed at Hambleden on 18 April, but was withdrawn.

    His last competition was Lincolnshire in March, where he finished 23rd in his open intermediate section.

    “He just wasn’t interested at Lincoln,” Laura added. “Normally he’d be pulling my arms out but he wasn’t feeling it.

    “He has nothing to prove and I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if something happened and he couldn’t enjoy his retirement.
    “He’s done such a lot for my career, he owes me nothing and I owe it to him.

    But Rayef may yet be seen in other disciplines.

    “We’ll play it by ear and maybe do some showjumping or dressage, just see how he feels,” she said.

    “He’s full of beans at the moment, he bolted across the field with me just the other day. He’s a real character and I know him inside out.”

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