Farewell Shear L’Eau: Leslie Law pays tribute to his Olympic champion

  • Leslie Law has thanked everyone involved involved in the glittering career of his Olympic gold medal-winning ride Shear L’Eau, who has died aged 26.

    “Stan”, as the horse was known, died last week aged 26 following a long retirement at Leslie’s US base.

    Leslie told H&H the Athens 2004 Olympic gold and his two European team gold medals aboard Stan are among his fondest memories of the “wonderful” horse’s eventing career.

    “He was a wonderful character and he had a lot of personality,” said Leslie.

    “Competition-wise, he always showed such quality from a very early age.

    “The journey he took me on is one you can really only dream about, so it was amazing to live it.”

    The grey gelding, by Stan The Man, collected more than 1,400 British Eventing points during his competitive career.

    He won individual Olympic gold and team silver at the Athens Games following the controversy over Bettina Hoy and Ringwood Cockatoo crossing the showjumping start line twice.

    Leslie and Stan were also part of the gold medal-winning teams at the European Eventing Championships at Punchestown in 2003 and Blenheim in 2005.

    The horse’s other competition highlights included two top-10 finishes at Kentucky CCI4* and fifth at Burghley in 2003.

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    Stan was the only horse Leslie took with him when he emigrated to the US in 2005 and he retired from competition in 2007.

    He spent his retirement out in a lovely big field, right opposite the house, with my wife Lesley’s former eventer Timber Spirit,” added Leslie.

    “When Timber Spirit passed away he shared the field with our son’s pony Soldier, and those are great memories too.

    “When we retired him from competition, we let him down slowly. We rode him for a while and it quietly got less and less, and he thoroughly enjoyed himself out in the field.”

    Leslie also thanked everyone involved with making his achievements with the horse possible.

    “I want to thank Jeremy and Susan Lawton [of Shearwater Insurance], who were hugely involved,” he said.

    “Roddy Dean, who sourced him in Ireland, all the coaches, vets, farriers and others who made this journey possible for us.

    “It was a huge team and none of it could have been done without any of them.”

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