Veteran five-star eventer Wesko — ‘We thought if nothing else, he’d be easy to sell as he was such a cool dude’ *H&H Plus*

  • This veteran five-star winner has an “amazing brain” and is a favourite with everyone, having bounced back from injury in 2016. Pippa Roome finds out more about him from his connections

    Need to know

    Age: 18
    Breeding: Karandasj x Mytens xx
    Rider: Tim Price
    Owner: Windrush Equestrian Foundation and rider
    Breeder: RJM Schoenaker
    Greatest achievements: second Hartpury CCI4*-S 2013; first Blair CCI4*-L 2013; first Tattersalls CCI4*-S 2014; first Luhmühlen CCI5* 2014; second Hartpury CCI4*-S 2014; represented Australia at the 2014 World Equestrian Games; second Kentucky CCI5* 2015; fourth Aachen CCIO4*-S 2015; third Pau CCI5* 2015; second Jardy Event Rider Masters (ERM) CCI4*-S 2018; first Arville ERM CCI4*-S 2019; fourth Aachen CCIO4*-S 2019; fourth Strzegom CCI4*-L 2020; third Pau CCI5* 2020 (all class names updated to current format).

    Rider Tim Price

    “We found Wesko while looking at another horse for Christina Knudsen. He was an unproven showjumper and he was sharp – he can spin out of nowhere in a warm-up – but we thought if nothing else, he’d be easy to sell as he was such a cool dude.

    “‘Dash’ doesn’t ooze raw ability and scope, but he has an amazing brain. Whatever scope he’s lacked, he makes up for with his technique.

    “His injury in 2016 was devastating. He was at the right place in his career to be a really exciting prospect. He ended up having two years off as his injury coincided with Christina’s death and he moved into the ownership of the Windrush Equestrian Foundation – I’m grateful now to be able to ride him in her memory.

    “Dash has been a real marksman for my career – after the cross-country when he won Luhmühlen I realised I was on my first serious horse at that level. But he’s also been unlucky – to have been up against Michael Jung a few times, to have so long off and then the Olympics being postponed when he’s already an older horse.

    “I’m not going to judge whether Dash could go to Tokyo. He finished last year in great form and he’s the type of short-coupled horse who have long careers. He’s good at travelling and would suit the Olympic format, so I’ll have him on a general trajectory towards that and then it depends on his form for selection.

    “Dash has a personal relationship with everyone which means he gets away with being a favourite without it feeling like favouritism.”

    Yard manager Lucy Miles

    “Dash is the most placid, kindest horse — like a little teddy bear. He’s just a nice guy to be around. He gets on well with all the horses and all the people.

    “At competitions he knows his job and, as his favourite thing is eating, he loves to go out grazing whenever he can. He wobbles around quite a lot travelling on the truck, so we treat him like a princess, try to put him in the same spot every time, with friends near him and give him lots of hay to keep him happy.

    “I do get very nervous when he competes; previously I couldn’t watch Tim on any of his horses across country. Dash and Ringwood Sky Boy are my favourites and I’ve learnt to watch and enjoy them now. Dash is nice to watch because he hasn’t got a worrying phase and he always looks like he knows his job and has his ears forward.

    “Dash was definitely the boss during his field holiday with Ringwood Sky Boy and Grovine De Reve this winter, but he’s not horrible to them. The others can be a bit fresh, but I can go round him while he’s eating and touch him — he’ll let you do anything.”

    Judge Nikki Herbert

    “Wesko doesn’t look his age because Tim’s a true horseman. He’s given him all the time he’s needed through his life, whether coming back from injury or in competition. He was just outside the time in both jumping phases at Pau, where I most recently judged him, because Tim gives his horses the time they need to complete a task rather than stressing them.

    “Wesko is compact and athletic, as well as being so attractive with his four even white socks and blaze.

    “His way of going is correct — every step is the same and the rhythm is there in walk, trot and canter and maintained through the flying changes. He probably did the best stretch in canter at Pau, he was so correct and confident in taking the contact down and back up.

    “Tim and Wesko’s relaxed and confident partnership has developed over many years and I think next year could be very exciting for Wesko; he might come to his full potential at the age of 18.”

    Ref: 7 January 2021

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