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Wellington M: ‘He has small man syndrome — but that’s what makes him special’ *H&H Plus*

The 15.1hh winning machine is a devil in the stable but, since learning to handle his head-shaking, has become one of this country’s most consistent performers. Jennifer Donald meets the brilliant veteran with a can-do attitude

“My mum, Liane Smith, was looking at yearlings at Nijhof stud, Netherlands, and came across this little four-year-old who she didn’t think was anything special but would
be nice when I came off ponies. We nearly didn’t get him though because they wouldn’t drop the price – we had to wait a couple of weeks until they did – so it could have been a very different story.

“The first week he was here, I fell off him every single day. He used to canter up the school, drop his shoulder, and then gallop back towards the stables. He will still do it some days – he’s certainly quite a character. People think he’s ‘sweet little Wellington’, but he’s evil in the stable – you can’t kiss or cuddle him.

“He has small man syndrome and believes that he is the boss of the yard – if you don’t turn him out first, he rears and bucks round his stable. But he puts all that into every performance in the ring and that’s what makes him special.

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