British eventer Mary King and Eddie and Sue Davies and Janette Chinn, the owners of King’s 2012 Olympic mount Imperial Cavalier, announced today, May 15, that they’re retiring the 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding.
King and “Archie” didn’t complete the course at this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI**** (England). They ran into trouble at the Outlander Bank owl hole (13A) when Archie got stuck on the fence, and although the pair recovered, King decided to pull up following a stop at the Mirage Pond three fences later.
“I really thought the relentlessly big cross-country course was right up Archie's street, and I am sure it would have been if the ground conditions hadn’t been so energy sapping, and if he had been a few years younger,” King said on her Facebook page. “But after he jumped immaculately around the first part of the course he started to feel one paced.”
Vicky Brake competed the Irish-bred Irish Sport Horse (Cavalier Royale—Gene Pool, Imperius) through the three-star level before King took over the ride in 2007.
King and Archie were part of the gold medal team at 2010 FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games (Ky.), the silver medal team at the 2012 London Olympic Games and the bronze medal team at the 2011 European Championships (the Netherlands). They competed at 11 four-stars together, finishing in the top six seven times, including a second-placed finish at Pau 4**** (France) in 2007.
He’ll go to Chinn’s home in Cheshire, England, where he’ll have “an active retirement.”
“His enthusiasm for the sport and for life in general was second to none,” King said in an official statement. “He has retired fit, sound and healthy.”