I’m sure most of you will have seen by now that Jonty Evans has started a crowd funding page to try and buy Cooley Rorkes Drift (Art) so that he can continue to ride him at top level. He has produced this horse from a 5 year old and last year placed 9th at the Rio Olympics, making them the highest placed Irish combination.
This losing a ride is something I’m sure most riders will have faced at some point in their life, especially if they haven’t been lucky enough to own horses their whole life.
The worst part of this feeling isn’t that the horse is leaving you, but that you have absolutely no control over the situation. Even if you are not a top rider, you will have spent a lot of time with this horse and many of us will have ‘improved’ the horse in one way or another. Even if that improvement is more of a keeping the horse fit and ticking over, enjoying life. We have invested time and effort into this horse, we have loved them and enjoyed them. Being told the horse is going away is a horrible feeling, especially when you are not in a position to buy the horse for yourself.
I experienced this as a teenager when my first experience of having a real bond with a horse and having a real ‘owning a pony’ experience was taken away. Ginny (AKA Pink Gin) was a cob I rode for a family friend and I totally adored her. When the owners made the decision to put her up for sale my parents weren’t in a position to buy her. SO I had to say goodbye to her. It was a horrible feeling.
However this led to other really good things. I was then free to ride Angel, which developed into a good relationship with Foxy’s owner, which has been fantastic for me over the years. Also, I’m pretty sure Ginny was older than me, so now I’m at the where I am working and therefore can afford to be going out and doing more, she would be getting to the point where she needs to slow down again. I also wouldn’t have got to ride some of the quirky horses I have loved and certainly wouldn’t have Scottie now! So I can’t help but feel that it just wasn’t meant to be with Ginny.
I really sympathise with Jonty and think crowd funding is a fantastic solution. However, due to Art’s success he comes with a hefty price tag! It works out at £100 per person, with 5000 people donating, that’s a huge demand and it will be interesting to see whether he reaches that or not. If you are interested in donating, you can do so here, although the website won’t go live until later today.
How many of you have lost rides over the years? How did you cope with it?