‘A genius and a lunatic’: Andrew Hoy says farewell to top horse who was ‘a member of our family’

  • Andrew Hoy has paid tribute to advanced event horse Cheeky Calimbo, who has died aged 22.

    The gelding, who Andrew owned with Christiane Classen, was a prolific three-star (now four-star) campaigner, and a multiple international winner. His biggest victories include the long-format CCI3* (now CCI4*-L) at Montelibretti in 2016, and the CIC3* (now CCI4*-S) at Luhmühlen in 2014.

    The pair competed across Europe in their many years together, taking in major British events including Bramham, Blenheim, Gatcombe and Blair Castle, as well as numerous top four-stars on the Continent.

    Cheeky Calimbo had his final run at Kelsall Hill in spring 2019 and has enjoyed his later years in “happy retirement” with the Hoys, where he spend his days “playing in the field, enjoying the sunshine” and “loving massage treatments” while still having his “beloved human and equine friends around”.

    “We knew for a long time that this day was coming – and I knew that you would let me know when you were ready for it. This morning you crossed the rainbow bridge – and I am glad I could be by your side right until the end,” said Andrew yesterday (21 May), adding that everyone had come to say goodbye over Cheeky’s final days.

    “In you, I certainly found my master – you were a genius and lunatic at the same time, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – and we often had to define whether it was a ‘Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde kind of day’. Your talent in all phases was certainly without limits – and so was your mental strength – and we all admired you for it.

    “Above all of this – you were a member of our family.”

    He added: “I am so grateful to Cheeky’s owner, Ms Christiane Classen, for her support through all of our highs and all of our lows – and for letting Cheeky retire with us at Somerby Stables.

    “Today, we are all crying. From tomorrow on, we will be so very grateful that we have had you in our lives. Thank you, Cheeky.”

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