Jennifer Wooten has decided to retire The Good Witch, a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, from high-level eventing competition.
Wooten and The Good Witch competed together for eight seasons. The mare was named the 2008 U.S. Eventing Association Mare of the Year, and the pair captured the 2010 Adequan/USEA Gold Cup. They traveled to Europe five times, completed four four-stars and were short listed for the 2008 Olympic Games during their career together.
“Her owners, Donn and Daisy Tognazzini, and I felt it was in the best interest of my amazing partner to retire her now while she is still happy, healthy and sound,” said Wooten.
Wooten said they didn’t want to push the mare beyond her physical capabilities.
“Over this last year as the 2011 season came to a close, I started taking a closer look at her,” Wooten said. “I didn’t want to be greedy.”
Wooten fondly recalled a moment from their first four-star event, the 2007 Pau CCI**** in France, during the cross-country course. “I remember patting her on the neck and saying, ‘We can do this. I’m here for you, and I know you’re here for me.’ ”
Although ”Pooh’s” future is uncertain, Wooten said she isn’t ready to go to pasture. The Tognazzinis are considering their options, including a possible partnership with a young rider.
Wooten currently is raising funds to purchase Anika, a 4-year-old Holsteiner mare, to continue working toward her goal of representing the United States internationally.
“She shows some very similar qualities to The Good Witch,” Wooten said. She rode the mare briefly several weeks ago, and the mare is undergoing a pre-purchase exam on Feb. 29.