I was very sad to hear of the passing of Andres Rodriguez and Sophie Walker, both incredibly talents show jumpers, who lost their lives together in a tragic car accident. (bowing head)
On the heels of learning of this tragedy, I read the story I’m going to present to you below. I hope that it lifts your heart as it did mine.
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When Trevor Breen and his one-eyed horse Adventure de Kannan won the famed Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby last year, it was a long sought victory.
Prior to 2014, Breen and “Addy” had won nearly every major class at Hickstead—the Bunn Leisure Speed Derby, the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup, the All England Grand Prix and the Amlin Plus Eventing Grand Prix. The coveted Boomerang Trophy, however, had eluded them, despite coming close on several occasions.
Come 2013, it looked as though their Derby dream might never come to fruition. With a progressively worsening eye condition, the gelding required an operation to remove his right eye. At the time, his owner, Karen Swann, and Breen didn’t know whether the horse would ever jump at the top level again.
In a matter of weeks Addy was back jumping at major competitions. Just two months after the operation, they nearly won their first Hickstead Derby title, finishing in second place.
Breen and the one-eyed gelding finally captured the title in 2014. In one of the closest finishes in Derby history, they bested 2013 winner, Phillip Miller, in a jump off by just 0.02 seconds. It was an emotional win for the Irish rider.
“You could feel the emotion—Fran, Trevor’s groom, was in tears, Trevor was nearly in tears, it was almost overwhelming,” said Lorraine Meadowcroft, CEO of title sponsor Equestrian.com. “Someone like Trevor wins lots of classes, but you could see what it meant to him to finally win the Derby.”
This year, the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead is commemorating Adventure de Kannan’s amazing record at Hickstead with a photo series by leading equine photographer Matthew Seed.
“No other horse has won such an array of major titles at our shows,” said Lizzie Bunn, Hickstead Director. “We wanted to mark his achievements in some way, so we approached Matthew Seed about creating this very special photoshoot.”
The result is a seven photograph collection taken at the Buckinghamshire yard Breen shares with his show jumping wife Caroline. “I think the resulting photos really capture the amazing bond between Trevor and his horse. I’ve worked with lots of horses but Addy was one of the easiest equine models—he was endlessly patient and stood beautifully throughout,” said Seed.
Check it out for yourself:
Now head on over to the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead Facebook page to vote on your favorite. The most popular image, as determined by Hickstead’s Facebook fans, will be displayed at this year’s show before being auctioned to raise funds for the Mark Davies Injured Riders’ Fund.
This year, Breen and Addy will attempt to reclaim their title at Hickstead. Only this time the one-eyed wonder horse will do great things out of the ring, as well.
*All images published here with permission from the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead.
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