Mary King’s Olympic team silver medalist Imperial Cavalier has been retired from top-level competition, and has gone home to one of his owners for an “active retirement”.
The 17-year-old Irish bred bay gelding is owned by Eddie and Sue Davies and Janette Chinn, and ‘Archie’ has returned to Chinn’s home in Cheshire.
Having been produced by Vicky Brake to three star level, the owners bought him in 2007. Since then ‘Archie’ has had seven top six placings at CCI4 star level and was part of the gold medal winning team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, silver medal team at London 2012 Olympic Games and a bronze medal team at the 2011 European Championships.
Imperial Cavalier is by the holsteiner stallion Cavalier Royale (by Cor de la Bryere) and out of Gene Pool, by the thoroughbred stallion Imperius.
In an official statement, Mary King said: “His enthusiasm for the sport and for life in general was second to none. He has retired fit, sound and healthy.”
Britain’s World Class Equestrian Performance Director Will Connell wished Imperial Cavalier well in his retirement. “I have been lucky enough to watch this combination at numerous Championships where they have helped bring medals home for GB.”
King and Imperial Cavalier pulled out at about the halfway mark at last weekend’s challenging cross-country course at Badminton.
They were involved in a dramatic near miss at the Outlander Bank owl hole, with King nearly coming off as Archie appeared to stop mid-way through.
“I had been thrown forward onto his neck but he kindly kept his head up,” King told the Exmouth Journal.
“He’s an older horse and a wise old man. After his upset with the owl hole he felt very polite and he lost his feistiness that he’s had in the past. I think he had switched off so when he stopped at fence 16 (the Mirage pond) I had no hesitation than to raise my hand.
“I thought I wouldn’t ask any more of him. He’s done so much; so many huge courses in his life. He’s a proven cross country horse. When he tells me he’s not wanting to do it, it’s time for him to stop.”
Imperial Cavalier has 1701 British Eventing points, and his latest win was in an Advanced Intermediate event at Aldon on March 14.