Neptune Collonges to be a schoolmaster for Paul Nicholls’ daughter

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  • Grand National hero Neptune Collonges is due to have an “active and happy” retirement, according to trainer Paul Nicholls.

    Owner John Hales told H&H that “Nipper” will spend the summer back at his farm in Shropshire, before returning to Somerset in the autumn.

    “The plan currently is to use him as a schoolmaster for Megan [Nicholls’ 14-year-old daughter, right] to teach her the ropes, give her confidence and prepare her for point-to-pointing,” said Mr Hales.

    “He has a beautiful temperament, there’s not a nasty bone in his body.”

    Paul told H&H Neptune Collonges is likely to live with Emma Barber (daughter-in-law of Ditcheat landlord Paul Barber), who is joint-master of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale.

    “Emma looked after him when he was recuperating from injury [back in 2009] so he’ll go to her and go out for a few days’ hunting with both Emma and Megan,” he said.

    He won’t ever race again but we want to keep him active throughout the autumn. He’s only 11 and he’d hate to be doing nothing.

    “He’ll also help Megan practise jumping fences in the run up to pointing, but there’s plenty of time as it’s another two years until she can ride in races.”

    This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (3 May 2012)

    To read about Neptune Collonges in our First & Last feature see the current issue of H&H (3 May 2012)

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