Four-star winner Wesko has returned to eventing under New Zealand event rider Tim Price after two years away from the competition circuit.
“I’ve been quietly bringing him back since December last year. He hadn’t had any work for a couple of years and so I’ve taken my time bringing him back very gradually up to where he is now. I guess you would call him three-quarter fit,” said Tim.
“We’ve just taken it step by step and he feels amazing. He’s enjoying his work immensely and it’s really fun for me and for him to have him back. He’s like my old friend and it’s great to have him back and be able to give him a fulfilled lifestyle.”
Wesko, who won Luhmühlen CCI4* in 2014, suffered an injury in his final preparations for the Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2016.
“That required him to have 12 months’ downtime, during which his owner, Christina Knudsen, passed away,” said Tim, explaining that this resulted in “Dash” having some additional time out of action.
The 15-year-old by Karandasj has had three runs this spring, two in open novices and one in the CIC2* at Brightling last weekend. He has jumped double clears on all three occasions, being run steadily across country. He led the dressage at Brightling on a score of 25.
Tim does not plan to aim Wesko at the World Equestrian Games or set any ambitious targets for him.
“I’m just going to take him as he wants to go — the plan is just to see what he wants to do without putting too much pressure on,” he said. “The aim is to get him back up and on the road. I’m not sure what level that would be at — this year’s objective is just to get him back up competing and enjoying his job, while being fit and healthy.
“He has always loved his work and that hasn’t changed. He’s a lovely horse to have around and everyone that meets him falls in love with him.”
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Before his injury, Wesko would have been a hot favourite for a medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. In addition to his Luhmühlen win, his record included winning Blair CCI3* in 2013 and Tattersalls CIC3* in 2014, as well as two more top-three places at four-star — second at Kentucky and third at Pau, both in 2015.
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