CAVALOR HORSE OF THE YEAR
NIP TUCK’S is one of the most heart-warming stories of the dressage world, and his transformation from gangly youngster to superstar was crowned when he was named the Cavalor Horse of the Year.
When Jane de la Mare decided 12 years ago that she would love to own a horse with Carl, she couldn’t have imagined that the tall, uncoordinated, scared-of-his-own-shadow “Barney” would take her all over the world as an owner, to the World Equestrian Games, the Rio Olympics and to the European Championships in Gothenburg, where he finished a fantastic fourth this summer.
“It’s a complete fluke that I’ve ended up owning a horse like him,” said Jane. “Carl pointed to a group of yearlings and said, ‘You’re having that one.’
“As a baby he was huge and quite ugly with massive ears he had to grow into, and he was frightened of everything. I loved him from the word go though; he’s so sweet and lovely in the stable — he’s just scared of a lot of things!
“Carl’s stable jockey Katie Bailey rode Barney as a young horse — I used to bath him, plait him, drive the lorry, and it didn’t matter where we came.”
When Barney was nine, Carl took over the reins, training the brilliant but spooky Don Ruto son up to grand prix, where his talents came into their own. As he grew stronger and more confident, the scores rocketed and he became a valuable stalwart of the British team. But for Jane, seeing Barney perform with Carl on the world stage never gets any less emotional.
“I always cry every time I watch them,” she admitted. “He’s just gorgeous.”
‘It’s a fluke I ended up with him. Carl said, “You’re having that one”’ JANE DE LA MARE, OWNER OF NIP TUCK