A fundraising campaign has been launched aiming to create “a lasting memorial” for the four event horses killed in a road collision.
The Archie Legacy, founded by Pammy Hutton and Islay Auty, with support from eventer Nick Gauntlett, will raise funds towards an ongoing breeding project using frozen semen from Nick’s stallion Party Trick, who died in the accident on the way to Blair Castle International Horse Trials on 24 August, along with Sophie Hulme’s Ice Cool Cooley, Charisma TH and Farytale Cooley. The aim is to breed a son or daughter of Party Trick, a Sports Horse Breeding (GB) champion stallion by Chilli Morning, who could go on to compete at future Olympic Games.
Nick explained the idea is to use some of Party Trick’s limited amount of frozen semen to put some of the best and proven mares in foal, using embryo transfer and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a lab-based technique where a single sperm cell is injected into a matured oocyte. The resulting foal will be owned by Nick.
“Pammy, who has been a huge part of my career, said to me, ‘You’ve worked so hard with this horse – he was your comeback horse and he was the horse that was going to put you back on the map. There needs to be a legacy,’” Nick told H&H.
“Without a doubt Party Trick was the best horse I’ve ever ridden, and he was more than that – he was passing great qualities to the next generation. The more I’ve thought about the legacy, it’s allowing him the opportunity to be great as a sire when he didn’t get the chance to be great in his own right. It would be amazing to have a son or daughter at the Olympics or winning a big competition.”
Islay told H&H the legacy is about keeping Party Trick’s name alive and supporting both Nick and Sophie.
“People, not just from the equestrian world, have asked if there is a fund they can support. We wanted to create something people would want to support not just because of Nick, but because they are supporting the future of the line, and the development of good stock. If we get a large pot of money it will be used with great judgement and care with regard to the development of the sport we all love,” she said.
Nick added that the support he has received since the accident had been “incredible”.
“Everybody has been very kind. The horse world is an unbelievable family, and while I’m not saying it takes something like this to show that, when something like this does happen, it really does,” he said.
A Gofundme page set up by Sarah Ettridge, a friend of Nick and his wife Amanda, after the collision will be used for the fundraising. Donations can be made by visiting the Gofundme page here.
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