Five-star winner out of Tokyo contention as he retires from top-level competition

  • Tim Price’s CCI5* winner Wesko has retired from top level competition.

    The 18-year-old, owned by the Windrush Equestrian Foundation, sustained a minor injury during early season work in preparation for the postponed Tokyo Olympics.

    “It was going to be a bit of a push for an eighteen-year-old to make the final four at the Olympics later this year and sadly it just wasn’t meant to be,” said Tim.

    “We have had so much fun together, so I have a lot to be thankful for. Above all he’s my mate and that isn’t about to change.”

    “Dash”, who will remain with the New Zealand rider in retirement, scored six international wins, including Tim’s first five-star victory at Luhmühlen 2014, and amassed 1,356 British Eventing points.

    “Dash will finally be allowed to let his inner pony out, getting fluffy, fat and happy, and winning people over with his friendly charm,” added Tim.

    The KWPN gelding (Karandasj x Kolien) took his first international win as an eight-year-old at Brand Hall CIC* (now CCI2*-S) and his other victories include Blair Castle CCI3* (now CCI4*-L) in 2013 and Tattersalls CCI3* (now CCI4*-L) in 2014.

    The pair finished runners-up at Kentucky in 2014 and were third at Pau the following year. In the horse’s preparations for Kentucky in 2016, he sustained a soft tissue injury that required him to have two years off, during which time his owner, Christina Knusden, died.

    The Windrush Equestrian Foundation, formed in Christina’s memory to help nurture young equestrian talent, took ownership of the horse, who returned to the top of the sport following his two-year break.

    Tim brought the horse back “step-by-step” and the pair went on to continue their success, with results including a win at the 2019 Arville leg of the Event Rider Masters and third at Pau CCI5* in 2020.

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    “We are truly grateful to Tim for his continued love and partnership with Wesko,” said Windrush Equestrian Foundation chief executive Mariachiara Apruzzese.

    “Together they have helped fulfil some of Christina’s dreams and ambitions. As much as we’re all sad that Wesko hasn’t been able to make the Olympics his final triumph we’re all so happy that he is finishing his wonderful career fit, happy and healthy and will continue to live out his retirement with his best friend, Tim. We’re also extremely grateful to have Tim continue as an ambassador for the Windrush Foundation.”

    In a recent interview with H&H, Tim explained that he found Wesko while looking at another horse for Christina.

    “He was an unproven showjumper and he was sharp – he can spin out of nowhere in a warm-up – but we thought if nothing else, he’d be easy to sell as he was such a cool dude,” he said, adding the horse “doesn’t ooze raw ability and scope, but he has an amazing brain”.

    “Whatever scope he’s lacked, he makes up for with his technique.

    “Dash has been a real marksman for my career – after the cross-country when he won Luhmühlen I realised I was on my first serious horse at that level. But he’s also been unlucky – to have been up against Michael Jung a few times, to have so long off and then the Olympics being postponed when he’s already an older horse.”

    He added: “Dash has a personal relationship with everyone which means he gets away with being a favourite without it feeling like favouritism.”

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