Nip Tuck

CAVALOR HORSE OF THE YEAR

Horse & Hound - - Horse & Hound Awards 2017 -

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

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