Top showjumper returns to former rider in Britain

  • One of Britain’s top showjumping horses, Sultan V, has been reunited with his former rider Bruce Menzies.

    The pair enjoyed considerable success and were considered serious contenders for the 2012 London Olympics before The Old Lodge home-bred moved to the Saudi Arabian team ahead of the Games. The son of Irco Mena has since been competed by Abdullah al Sharbatly, with whom he won team bronze at London 2012 as part of the Saudi team.

    West Sussex-based Bruce produced the grey gelding for five years and together they won the Horse & Hound Foxhunter final and the grade C championship in 2009. They also competed on British Nations Cups teams in 2011.

    “I have always tried to keep track of him — I’ve ridden for Old Lodge for 10 years and compete other horses for them — then I received a call to say he was coming back,” said Bruce, who was extremely disappointed when his top ride left the country.

    “He was a solid Nations Cup horse and coming into the best stage of his career [when he left],” he added.

    He has been home for two weeks and is currently walking for an hour out each day. He had sustained some injuries, but my vet has treated him and he is now starting to get his spring back in his step.

    “We will give him as much time as he needs, anything is a bonus and I am just glad to have him home — he did so much for me.”

    It is not clear if, or when, the 13-year-old will make a return to the showjumping circuit, but Bruce added: “I am quietly confident he will get back jumping and we’ll do everything we can. He deserves to have a good time and enjoy himself.

    “He had a long journey back here and had to spend a while in quarantine. My vet is confident he will make a full recovery,” he added.

    Abdullah al Sharbatly added: “Sultan was officially retired by me and Saudi Equestrian a few months ago. He has some issues, which stopped him competing at the top level.

    “Our decision was to retire him from the sport because of his bad health condition, we could have brought him back in the field but we respect and honour him for his glorious achievements. He deserved to rest now.”

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