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Coolys Luxury Retires from Top Level Eventing

Tom announced the retirement of Coolys Luxury from top level eventing, following a week of memories from Burghley Horse Trials. The combination have had countless numbers of 5* starts together and they really did battle against the odds to get there.Tom summarises their career together on an instagram post...  

'I share this memory of not just a great event we are missing this year but also one the greatest horses I’ve ever had the privilege to ride.
Unfortunately this wasn’t the year to go out with a flurry, with big plans to contend the ERM series and high profile 4* Shorts and a shot at our 6th Burghley, which all fell victim to the pandemic. That partly led to the loss of funding, sponsorship and his syndicate support too.
So the time has come to officially retire him from top level competition. A tough decision but made easier knowing he is fit and well and he stays on with me here at Team Crisp.
Being Burghley week it seemed appropriate as he had competed 5 times here, 3 in the prize money and almost making a lifetime goal of top ten to finish 11th!
He always put a smile on your face even when he wasn’t doing what he was supposed to be. He remains endlessly enthusiastic to please and always so happy to just be out!

It’s not all bad as he will continue to enjoy his competing with a talented young rider and in-house working pupil, Chrlie Pincus, in amongst the under 18’s. We will be supporting them both from the sidelines and hope he gives him as much fun and awesomeness as he gave me!

Massive thank you to Cooly himself, who never gave up and against many odds proved many wrong. Everybody who has supported us over the years from David and Clare Corney gifting me the horse to Andy Bathe for keeping him well, Amy Akehurst for looking after him and all the Syndicate members and owners for allowing me to do what we both loved doing. A real end of an era.
#oneoff #horseofalifetime '

What would life with horses be without its ups, its downs, and a healthy helping of whiplash as we ricochet back and forth between the two?

After her impeccable performance in Paris last month, Liberty and Glory decided it was time for a mid-season holiday. The fact that she didn’t call a team meeting or consult the work calendar before booking out meant that we had to do some slightly tricky decision-making at Casa de Crisp, and in the end, we opted to let Coolys Luxury take her place at the British Open Championships at Gatcombe.

And what a week he had! A great first-phase score of 27.6 put him well in contention from the word go, and from then on out, he never faltered, jumping two classy clears to stay in the hunt in a competition that saw just over half its starters complete. Unfortunately, he’s just not quite as quick as his stablemate, and so time penalties ultimately moved him down to sixth place – but we were absolutely thrilled with the old boy, who more than held his own in a class that featured five-star winners, world champions, and international team horses. This makes two top-ten international finishes in less than a month for Cooly, and so – with the support and guidance of our wonderful sponsors at Lingfield Vets, High Weald Horse Hydro and Baileys Horse Feeds we’ve decided to let him have one more crack at his favourite event, Burghley.

It was looking like a double-feature for a while, but Lori decided she rather enjoyed her impromptu holiday – which she’d earned herself with a minor knock – and so we’ve made the tough decision to save her for another competition. Making the big calls with horses is an indescribably tricky job, particularly in cases like this, when the horse is absolutely sound, and healthy, and happy. Lori is working well at home and she feels great – but we’ve known her since before she was born, and as a result, we can tell when she’s operating at 99%, rather than 100. Sure, we could get her to Burghley, and we could almost certainly get her through it, too, but at what cost? Eventing is a high-risk, high-reward sport – and Lori has so much to give, and is so much a part of our family, that it’s not worth putting her wellbeing on the line for the sake of a run, even if it is the biggest and most sort after run!

In the little bubble that is the eventing world, it’s pretty easy to let stuff like this weigh you down, but I’m lucky enough to have a busy and brilliant family to keep things in perspective. Baby Hermione continues to be the smiliest baby in Sussex, and she’s getting more and more opinionated each day – now that she’s on the verge of figuring out this crawling business, she’s pretty convinced she’s ready to run the whole show herself. Harry and Hugo have been out and about at Pony Club rallies, and doing really well, too – Harry and his pony Tam have qualified for the Pony Club regional area showjumping in Cambridgeshire at the end of the month, alongside teammate and pal (and fellow child-of-an-eventer) Max Whittington. So – for now at least! – Burghley isn’t the most important competition on the Team Crisp calendar.

There’s been a bit of excitement at Mayfield Fire Station, too, where I try to make myself useful whenever I can. It’s a fantastically rewarding if not demanding job and after a big recruitment drive, we are looking forward to welcoming a few new recruits who are now in their final stages of the process and will be looking to join us at the station later in the Autumn which is great news for the community as we can hopefully increase our availability now. After losing part of our farm to a fire a couple of years ago, I know all too well how important a quick response is, and it’s really great to see our merry group expanding.

Speaking of new recruits, it hasn’t been all doom and gloom around the stables – we’ve been delighted to take on a couple of really exciting new horses for some great owners. It’s all early days, but Valentino King has been showing off some considerable talent at home, and his owner has fit in so quickly with our close-knit team, so we’re all excited about all the things to come. We’ve also got a really classy youngster in for me to back and produce, for another great set of owners. When you run a small team like ours, it becomes a bit more like an extended family, and so getting new people in who slot in so well is really heartening. And what sort of horse person isn’t guilty of a bit of dreaming when a new four-legged partner arrives on the yard?

My next update will be post-Burghley – what a thought! – which means we’re heading into the tail end of the season and my teaching schedule is starting to take over the calendar again. We’ve got plenty of clinics coming up, plus opportunities for one-to-one training – just give our ‘TeamCrisp Eventing” Facebook page a like to stay in the loop.