‘Quirky’ former four-star eventer put down

  • A former four-star eventer has been put down at the age of 21 after a long battle with arthritis.

    British-bred Private Colin was produced up to top level by Australian rider Sam Griffiths. He partnered the horse to finish third at Le Lion seven-year-old world championships (2002), sixth at Blenheim (2003) and sixth at Badminton in 2004. He was also long-listed for the Athens Olympics that year.

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    The Busk Hill Gunnar-sired bay was bred by showjumpers Tina and Graham Fletcher and owned by David Hamilton and Leela Patel. From 2006 he was campaigned by Stephen Way, but his eventing career was curtailed by injury.

    “He was a quirky, special character, who adored attention and cuddles,” said David. “Sadly a field injury sustained as a two-year-old meant that an old scar often irritated him, giving rise to heart-stopping trot-ups at three-days, and ultimately shortened his eventing career.

    “He has enjoyed life and retirement doing a little showjumping and dressage, and has had the most amazing care from [vet] Bobby McEwen, who also enjoyed hacking him out on occasion.”

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