Tales from Hartpury: ‘Nobody else can ride him, he’s decked everyone at home’ – meet the quirky equine star with oodles of talent *H&H Plus*

  • It is testament to the special bond Claire Deuten has with the seven-year-old Lord Flashheart that the partnership are making waves across all three Olympic disciplines.

    It is even more impressive given the quirky nature of the talented rising star, but the pair have a special relationship of trust and mutual respect.

    “He is what I call a horse of a lifetime. The relationship we have is phenomenal. He gives you that amazing feeling and he’s always got his eyes on me in the yard. He does know he’s number one,” Claire told H&H.

    “Nobody else can ride him. He’s decked everybody at home. And so if I’m not there for the day, he has to be lunged! You have to work with him, because if you go full-on, he would have you.

    Claire rides the son of Bjorsells Briar 899 for his breeder, Albertine Barker, and the pair have evented up to intermediate, showjumped in the six-year-old finals at Hickstead and have seven double clears at Foxhunters to go with their success between the white boards.

    Their Hartpury debut was a milestone moment as his dam, Gavotte, competed here under Dannie Morgan.

    “He is the first [foal] out of that mare, so it’s quite special for Albertine that he’s come here,” added Claire, who also rides his younger siblings.

    “When we started him, it was a question of what line is he going to go down? That’s why he showjumped, dressaged and evented – he’s done so well at all three, why not just keep going?

    “It is an incredible bond and that is why I am very lucky that Albertine gave me the opportunity to syndicate him, because she always told me he was going to have to be sold.

    “It’s meant I’ve been able to keep the ride and good horses like that, that are quirky, I think the relationship is so important. It would have broken my heart to see him go and see someone not have that bond with him.”

    The chestnut gelding, who was syndicated in February, finished fifth with a double clear on his third intermediate start on Friday. He will likely make further use of his experience in Hartpury’s arena as the plan is for him to return for the international horse trials in August.

    “I’d love to be able to take him to Le Lion [eventing young horse World Championships] for the seven-year-olds because I think he’s quality enough and he deserves to be there. So he’s going to do the CCI2*-L here because he needs the two-star long, and now he’ll have been in the arena already,” she said.

    “It’s an amazing experience and suppose being a full-time event rider, you don’t really get the chance to do things like this. Because he is such a good mover, why not? I will try and go again for the summer championships and keep going because it’s an excellent opportunity. And also, it’s good as an event rider to be put under that pressure.”

    The pair scored 69.23% to finish 14th in the Equi-Trek elementary silver championship.

    “He was really good,” Claire added. “You just don’t know how they’re actually going to act when they get here and you feel like there’s a bit more pressure because you are here, but he warmed up beautifully and coped really well.”

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