‘Memories that will stay with us forever’: Olympic silver medallist retired from competition

  • Spencer Wilton’s 2016 Olympic silver medallist Super Nova II has been retired at the age of 18.

    Spencer and the British-bred gelding, by De Niro x Weltmeyer, have been stalwarts of the British team in recent years, competing at the Rio Olympics in 2016, the European Championships in 2017 and the World Equestrian Games in 2018. Having won Olympic team silver, they finished fourth with the team and sixth individually at the Europeans in Gothenburg the following year, before winning team bronze at WEG alongside Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin and Emile Faurie.

    “After 11 amazing years Super Nova, aka Neville, has come to the end of his competitive career,” said Spencer. “I was hoping that he was going to have the chance to shine one more time representing Team GB in 2021, but it was not to be.

    “At 18 years young, he will now enjoy a quieter life spending the majority of his time doing what he loves most: hacking and eating grass!

    “His favourite person, groom Claire Hinton will continue to be at his beck and call 24/7 as she has been for so many years. They have a very special bond with each other. Claire has been with us for all the highs and most importantly she’s been there to pick us both up from all the lows,” added Spencer.

    After giving Neville a quieter year in 2019, Spencer mounted a campaign for the Tokyo Olympics, with a double win at Lier CDI4* in early 2020 setting them up well for a successful year. When the pandemic struck, Spencer opted to give Neville an easy summer, “to put him on ice” in readiness for a crack at the Tokyo team in 2021, and brought him out to score a double win at Keysoe CDI in October 2020.

    Spencer Wilton's Super Nova II at home in Gloucestershire - he has now retired from competitive dressage

    Spencer Wilton with Super Nova II at home in Gloucestershire in 2020

    They began their season with a plus-79% grand prix at Burrows Court Farm in May, but were forced to withdraw from Wellington CDI later that month due to Spencer’s ongoing back injury, for which he had surgery in 2018. They were not able to continue their team selection campaign in time, and Spencer made the decision over the summer to retire the characterful gelding.

    “Neville has been my horse of a lifetime and has given his owner Jen Goodman and myself the most amazing journey with memories that will stay with us forever. It’s been a blast!”

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