Lion-hearted World Cup hero bows out: ‘the biggest fighter I ever rode’

  • The 2022 showjumping World Cup final winner “with a heart like a lion” has retired aged 16 following a dazzling sporting career.

    Chaplin, owned by Luigi Baleri, had been ridden by Swiss medallist Martin Fuchs since 2016. Together, they scored three CSI5* Longines Global Champions Tour grands prix wins and tasted victory in four World Cup legs before scooping the final trophy last year. They also represented Switzerland in Nations Cups.

    The stallion, by Verdi TN and out of Concorde mare Jaltha B, will now join Team Nijhof and turn his attention to breeding.

    “Thank you my Chapi for the most amazing seven years,” said Martin. “Chaplin jumped 13 five-star grands prix and was placed in 12 of them.

    “He has the best character and qualities. Scope, careful, fast and a heart like a lion. The biggest fighter I ever rode.”

    Martin added he is “for ever grateful” to Mr Baleri for making the partnership possible, to groom Sean Vard, for “travelling the world with this superstar” and to his whole team “for their dedication throughout his career”.

    “Looking forward to seeing many outstanding Chaplin babies!” he added.

    It is nearly a year since Chaplin’s last international start – the 2022 World Cup final would prove to be his swansong on the world stage, and he already has youngstock on the ground.

    “He is just the biggest fighter, he doesn’t have the ability that Clooney [Martin’s retired multiple medal-winning ride] has but at the end he always gives everything,” said Martin after his World Cup win last year, which he described as “a dream come true”.

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