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‘Memories on sale’: showjumping legend’s saddle goes under the hammer

A saddle worn by Nick Skelton’s former ride Apollo is among items set to go under the hammer in a charity auction this weekend.

Totem Horses, a rescue and rehabilitation centre in Llanfechain, Wales, will auction the saddle worn by Apollo when he was ridden by Geoff Glazzard at the Horse of the Year Show in the early 1980s, along with other showjumping memorabilia including a painting of Nick and Apollo, and a decanter won by the gelding. The auction takes place on 1 February by sealed bids.

The geldings’s many achievements included two Hickstead Derby wins, multiple Nations Cup appearances and an individual bronze medal at the 1986 World Championships with Nick before he retired to the Skeltons’ yard. He died in 2006 aged 31.

A spokesman for Totem Horses said Apollo’s former owner Barrie Jones had donated the memorabilia to the charity to help raise money for equines in need.

“We were overwhelmed when Barrie got in touch to offer us these items as we are a small organisation and rehabilitation is costly, so every penny really does count,” said founder Jo Barr.

“As someone who grew up in the 1980s, I remember loving Apollo and sitting glued to the television following him over every jump when Nick rode him, so to be able to hold the saddle he wore at a competition is a wonderful thing. I hope someone out there will share the memories and will be prepared to make a generous bid to own the saddle.”

Jo added the painting of Nick and Apollo is a “lovely thing”.

“It would be wonderful to think that Nick might even want to buy that himself,” she said.

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The spokesman added that bidders are asked to message via the website between 8am and 10am on 1 February 2020 with their highest and final offer for each item.

“All the proceeds will go towards rehabilitation work, which has recently included taking in 10 unhandled colts destined for slaughter who needed to be castrated and handled prior to going to new homes,” he said.

Items can be viewed and bid on at the Totem Horse website.

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