Former European champion who suffered career-ending injury to be celebrated in retirement ceremony

  • Clooney 51, the former European champion, with Swiss showjumper Martin Fuchs, will be celebrated in an official retirement ceremony, 16 months after he suffered a career-ending injury.

    Clooney, 16, fractured a bone in his right humerus when he slipped and fell in the field on 16 August last year, nine days after he and Martin had been competing at the Tokyo Olympics. He returned home after almost two months in hospital, and is now enjoying his retirement.

    Clooney’s “farewell ceremony” will take place on 11 December at CHI Geneva – where he won the Rolex grand prix with Martin Fuchs in 2019.

    “He has been in the world’s most beautiful arenas, but he has been missing a final lap to say goodbye to his many fans,” said a CHI Geneva spokesman.

    Clooney, owned by Luigi Baleri, was sourced by Martin’s father Thomas as a seven-year-old. Martin and Clooney had a glittering career, with multiple five-star and grand prix wins.

    They won individual gold at the 2019 European Championships, and individual silver at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon. The pair were ninth individually at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and 16th in Tokyo.

    Martin said Clooney is the “horse of his life” and an “extraordinary being”.

    “He has given me so much and it is with him that I have had my greatest successes,” he said.

    “His accident was a terrible ordeal for him and for all of my team, but in the face of it he proved what strength of character he has. Today, he is well and he deserves to have a ceremony that reflects his fabulous career and the genius that he is.”

    Martin added that CHI Geneva was an “obvious choice” for the ceremony.

    “We had one of our most beautiful moments here when we won the Rolex grand prix,” he said.

    “I am very much looking forward to this farewell, which promises to be very emotional, and during which I will be surrounded by the great Geneva public, my family, my team and my friends.”

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