Doug Payne’s four-star mount Running Order has been sold to Mandy Gray for Britain’s William Fox-Pitt to ride. Gray, a U.S. citizen, also owns another of Fox-Pitt’s rides, Before Time.
Payne, 30, got the ride on Running Order (Luso—Ellen Gail) four years ago and brought him through the levels, culminating in an 18th-placed finish at their first four-star at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event this spring. The gelding was owned by Patti Springsteen, and originally bought as a jumper prospect.
In June, Springsteen decided to sell the 10-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding. “We had a syndicate together, but unforeseen circumstances made it so we couldn’t buy the horse,” said Payne, Pottersville, N.J. “It’s a devastating loss, but at the same time, life goes on, and he’s in a good place. William will do a great job with him.”
Payne is looking ahead to the future and has restructured the syndicate with many of the original members. He plans to buy a two-star horse and a 4- or 5-year-old under the same syndicate. “I think with having a couple of horses involved, it could be really exciting for the people involved,” he said.
“I’ve got a really good group of horses going now. Crown Talisman has done two two-stars now, and he’ll be ready to go up to advanced next year. Royal Tribute should do a two-star this spring, and I have a couple of really good young ones. It was a big loss to lose Running Order, but such is life. I got a lot of experience from him, and for that, I’ll be forever thankful. He’s an excellent horse, and if I were to pick one other place for him to be, William’s is it,” he said.