‘You remained king till the end’: farewell to medal-winning horse bought via Horse & Hound

  • Tributes have been paid to a much-loved medal-winning para dressage horse, who was found by chance when his owner Sharon Jarvis was “flicking through Horse & Hound”.

    Australian rider Sharon’s KWPN gelding Applewood Odorado, fondly known as “Odie”, has died aged 27.

    Sharon and Odie competed at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, where they were fourth and seventh individually. In 2010 they won two bronze medals at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA.

    Odie was bred in the Netherlands, and produced as a young horse in the UK. He was competed to prix st georges level by Alice Peternell, originally under the name Wonderland Odorado. Sharon found Odie “by chance while flicking through Horse & Hound magazine” while she was in the UK in 2007, competing at the World Championships at Hartpury.

    Sharon said as soon as she saw Odie with Alice, she knew he was the horse for her.

    “That one ride was enough for me to not want to get off. It then took six months to get you back to Western Australia after getting stuck in UK quarantine during the Australian equine influenza outbreak,” she said.

    “You finally got to me the week before Christmas and several short weeks later we were selected for the Beijing Paralympics where we placed a very credible fourth in the individual championship test. We gave you our stud prefix (Applewood) after I sold several ponies and with the help of Mum and Dad I could afford you.”

    Sharon said Odie kept her “honest as a rider” and could “spin 180 degrees very quickly”.

    “You were sharp as you wanted to be and often had four four feet in the air going in four different directions,” she said.

    “But you also knew when it was show time and I always said if you were a human you would either be a comedian or a showman, you loved the spotlight. And you loved doing the demos at interschools for all the admiring kids.”

    Sharon added that she “met many wonderful people and gained friendships” because of Odie. Following his retirement in 2012, he spent a couple of years with friends, and then returned to Sharon where he “took up residency being the king”.

    “Odie, you remained the king of the property till the end, you were the grandpa babysitter putting all the young ones in their place, reminding them of who you were and to be respected,” said Sharon.

    “Thank you to all who were a part of Odie’s life with me. Thank you will never be enough, but thank you Applewood Odorado for all you did for me. Odie, you were much more than just a dual World Championship bronze medallist horse for Australia.

    “You made my dreams come true and so much more.”

    Sharon Jarvis will be returning to the UK to compete in the CPEDI3* at the NAF Five Star Hartpury Festival (4-9 July).

    “It feels rather fitting to be getting on a plane on Friday (23 June) to be heading back to compete where it all began so many years ago,” she said.

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