At the conclusion of the Boekelo CCI*** (the Netherlands) on Oct. 11, German event rider Bettina Hoy officially retired her Ringwood Cockatoo, 18, in an emotional ceremony.
“Bettina and Cockatoo paraded around the arena while J.P. Fair sang a song he wrote for the occasion ‘Thank you for being a friend.’ The beautifully chosen words and the music brought tears of emotion to Bettina and the thousands of spectators,” said Hoy’s website.
Boekelo was a perfect retirement venue as Cockatoo won the event in 2002, and it’s close to Bettina’s childhood home of Rheine in Germany. Ringwood Cockatoo won 10 times at the three-star level and also triumphed in two four-stars, the first CCI**** at Luhmühlen (Germany) in 2005 and at Pau (France) in 2008.
Hoy and Cockatoo earned the individual bronze medal at the 2007 European Eventing Championships (Italy), the team bronze at the 2005 European Eventing Championships (England) and team gold at the 2006 World Equestrian Games (Germany).
The elegant gray was renowned for his prowess in the dressage; he won the dressage at the 2009 Rolex Kentucky CCI****, where they eventually finished in second.
Bred in Ireland by Hilary Greer, Cockatoo (Peacock—Baileys Folly) arrived in Bettina and husband Andrew’s barn as a two-star horse, and Bettina began riding him in 2000.