William Fox-Pitt’s Olympic team silver medal-winning event horse Lionheart has been sold to America.
The 11-year-old Lancer III gelding will now be ridden by US eventer Allison Springer. The horse is leaving the UK this week and Allison aims to start competing him early next season.
Allison, who is based in Upperville, Virginia announced the news today (Monday 18 November).
Lionheart has been bought from Jeremy and Judy Skinner by the Team Lionheart Syndicate LLC.
As well as the Olympic silver, William and Lionheart have been competitive at top events including finishing 4th at Luhmuhlen CCI 4* earlier this year.
A major factor in Lionheart’s selection for London was his superb showjumping record. However, he wasn’t able to show this off to full effect as he didn’t make the individual showjumping round after inexplicably running out of petrol on the cross-country to finish with 9.2 time-faults.
“Lionheart is one of the greatest horses in the world and I am both thrilled and humbled to be given the opportunity to ride him,” said Allison.
“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to each member of the Team Lionheart Syndicate LLC for their support, and for making my dream of acquiring this amazing horse a reality.
“I know William cares a great deal for each one of his horses, and that they are all superbly produced. I would like to thank him, as well as Mr and Mrs Skinner, for allowing me the opportunity to acquire Lion and for believing in my ability to showcase his talents from this point forward.”
A statement on William’s website added: “It was a very hard decision, but we are very happy that he is joining such an accomplished rider. Lionheart was known particularly for his spectacular jump and has been a joy to work with over the last 6 years. He will be very hard to replace, but we wish Allison and Lion every success for the future.”
William’s wife Alice told H&H the Fox-Pitt team was “thrilled” Lionheart was going to such a good rider. “He’s a very, very special horse to us,” she added.