Horse & Hound
Boasting the unique feat of representing his country in Nations Cup teams across two disciplines, this former world-class eventer is now enjoying a second career as a showjumper. Jennifer Donald meets the diminutive character who likes to have the last laugh
RIDER WILL FLETCHER
“AFTER ‘Percy’ left Kitty King, Tom McEwen called and said he had this small horse who’d fallen out of love with dressage but who jumped well, would I like to try him?
“We took it slowly for the first year as I was in the middle of my A levels. He did well in 1.20m and 1.30m classes but then we jumped a Foxhunter second round, which was by far the biggest course we’d done, and I thought, ‘OK, this one has more in the tank than we thought,’ and we kicked on from there.
“He’s 16hh at a push and I’m a full-up
6ft 2in, but his strength comes straight from his heart – he wants it more than any other horse. He has so many quirks though! There are fillers at home we can’t have out, yet he’s never spooked in the ring.
“The first time I jumped him after a break during lockdown, he splatted me like a 12.2hh pony at a tiny cross-pole and I was left on the floor with him standing over me – I’m sure he was laughing.
“In the trot-up, he’s so graceful and does this full-on extended trot, but he tries to bite you and he’s kicked me twice. The vet actually turned him and my brother Olli away in Valkenswaard because he was so naughty. However, once he’s in the ring, he’s in the zone.
“What he’s done to help me with my career has been unbelievable, but I’d love to do a five-star show with him – it would be a push for him and me, but I’d love to give a big grand prix a go.”
“He splatted me like a 12.2hh pony at a tiny cross-pole and I was left on the floor with him standing over me – I’m sure he was laughing”