Farewell to ‘eccentric genius’ and five-star winner who put rider ‘on the map’

  • Two Thyme, the five-star winner who Ruth Edge credits for “putting her on the map”, has been put down in retirement aged 29.

    Today (10 January) Ruth announced that during the Christmas period they had “sadly let Two Thyme (Jasper) go run wild in the field in the sky”.

    “He was the grand old age of 29 and had been retired with his bessie mate Nick of Thyme,” said Ruth.

    Ruth took on the ride of Maureen and Phil Smith’s Jasper as a seven-year-old in 2001. The next year they won the British intermediate championship at Gatcombe, and in 2004 and 2009 were crowned the British open champions.

    The pair made their five-star debut at Badminton in 2007, where they jumped clear across country and finished 11th. The following year they won Luhmühlen five-star, and were named reserves for the Beijing Olympic Games.

    “I had ridden Phil and Maureen’s other horse Big Time, so it was decided that I would have a go at Jasper and see if I could persuade him that he wanted to be an event horse. We knew all along how talented he was, but he was quite quirky,” Ruth told H&H.

    “He was a very kind horse, and he loved people and other horses, but I would describe him as an eccentric genius. You had to persuade him to do things, you couldn’t tell him. We spent a lot of time trying to improve his confidence and it wasn’t always easy, but it was the making of him, and he learned to trust me.

    “We had a real partnership together and he really believed that he could do these amazing things that he did. He certainly taught me a lot about horsemanship, because he was a tricky character, but on his day he could beat the best in the world. He was a horse that really put me on the map.”

    Jasper retired sound in 2012, aged 18 and had a long and happy retirement.

    “He was never ridden again because we felt he really settled into being out in the field with his friends. He wasn’t great at hacking, and he certainly wasn’t a schoolmaster, even in his older age he was still cheeky,” said Ruth.

    “He stayed with me and Nick of Time until 2019 when I moved, and then the two of them went to Phil and Maureen’s. They had a fantastic retirement place for them with lots of friends, and he had a terrific time.”

    Ruth thanked Jasper for “all the great times with Phil and Maureen Smith at events all over Europe”.

    “I’m so grateful for all the opportunities you brought to me. Fly high up there doing whatever you please. RIP dear boy,” she added.

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