(This blog was originally written and posted on the 29th October 2013 but has
As announced on my Facebook and Twitter pages, it is with the deepest regret and most profound sadness that I write this blog post informing my followers and clients that my beloved 'old boys' and popular schoolmasters Tyke and Teddy were put down together last week at Rycroft School of Equitation in Hampshire. Both have experienced long-term health problems that were not improving so the decision was made with their best interests in mind whilst they are still happy and relatively well.
As some may know, we lost our yard a few months ago which put an end to Team Derbz as we knew it. No longer able to provide livery services (schooling/backing/competition etc) or schoolmaster lessons, it also threw me into the terrible position of having to find homes for my horses and quickly. Whilst I was fortunate enough to be able to find somewhere that would allow me to keep both Troy and Jimmy, I could not also take Tyke and Teddy. Luckily my wonderful friends Laura and Mel stepped up to look after them whilst I tried to find them long-term homes, ensuring that they stayed together and at home. Thanks to Laura and Mel, Tyke and Teddy spent a glorious summer at grass in the sunshine - fat, happy and well. Loved and in good company.
Separately and together, these horses changed my life and taught me so much as well as providing me with companionship and endless joy. They are responsible for rebuilding and strengthening not only my confidence and skill, but the confidence and skills of the countless students and friends who rode and handled them in their time here.
Without a doubt my two most popular horses with children and adults of all ages and abilities - a testament to their talent, attitude to their jobs and wonderfully kind, gentle natures.
Having never been much of a fan of chestnuts, quite how I ended up with 3 and all with names starting with T I'm not quite sure! But 'The T-Nuts' quickly became the most important things in my life and an integral part of my team in a business where horses come and go quickly. Now with just Troy remaining - 'Mid T' - I can't help feeling like there will always be something missing.
These irreplaceable horses gave me everything and owe me absolutely nothing. I am forever changed and forever a better horse-person having had the privilege to have had them in my life. They will be forever missed.
We have said a couple of goodbyes this week here at Team Derbz - one happily and one less so.
Topper has been sold to a lovely home where I hope he will be spoilt rotten for the rest of his days by Gill and her family.
Our other goodbye was to Birdie, who was very sadly put down at Somerford Park yesterday due to ongoing soundness issues. We had been trying to get her in foal but her body had been telling us she wasn't comfortable enough to carry one, it just took me a while to hear what she was saying. We are very sad to lose such a sweet person and hugely talented horse.
Teddy is also currently on holiday until September so allow his feet to grow out, whilst the others have been having a summer holiday from competing until end of August.
Team Derbz were proud to sponsor the show-jumping ring as part of Supreme Showdown at Warren Farm last weekend. All proceeds from the ring went straight to the Rett Syndrome Research Trust so thank you to everyone who came out and supported this great cause. We had a fantastic time helping out and are looking forward to doing more in the future.
We didn't compete but we did take Jimmy, Troy and Teddy for a school round the course once the classes were finished. Videos and pictures below.
9 years old 14.2hh mare by the international jumping stallion Annaghmore Boomerang. She is very straight forward has done a bit of everything in the pony club and has about 30 showjumping points. The pony has huge potential but rider too nervous to jump more than 90cm /1m. She is quiet in everyway snaffle mouth no vices. genuine pony. Full sister is a grade A pony with over 500 points (Annaghmore Boomerella)
Has won high jump competitions etc done a lot of pony club dressage one day events. Measures 148 with shoes so will measure in as a 148 no problem.
€7000 Neg. to right home
6yo 14.1hh mare by Annaghmore Boomerang. She has done again a bit of everything and spent last summer in a riding school where the girl was helping out. She is very quiet again no vices snaffle mouth. Looking for less for this pony and more realistic asking 2500 euro and again negotiable and home is more important. The girl is overage and they have to be sold.
We've had a busy month so far - the horses have been out and about jumping and have done very well. Teddy and Troy have both qualified for the Amateur Championships in their respective classes and have been training hard. Troy is really starting to grow into himself and fill out and is turning into quite the strapping young man!
Sadly Birdie's soundness and head-shaking issues have now come to a point where - after approval from the vet - I've decided to retire her to stud as it just doesn't look like she'll come right and at 17.2hh she is far too big to be a pet. She's a very talented girl with such a lovely temperament and world-class bloodlines, so we're hoping for good things - now just need to pick the right stallion. She's had her pre-stud tests done today and as long as those come back clean she-ll be away. Watch this space!
Here are some pictures of Tyke (90cm), Troy (British Novice, 90cm, 1m), and Teddy (1m, 1.10m) at South View from the last 2 weekends. And as you can see, Troy found the 3 days we spent at South View on the first weekend absolutely exhausting!
An unfortunate 4-fault day but couldn't be happier with the horses - each one jumped their best rounds and we had a great day. Thought the venue did a great job as well - will definitely be back to Dean Valley.