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Nullabor's loss a tragedy for eventing

Nullabor and Clayton Fredericks at Badminton 2008
© Jan Milne

May 21, 2008

by Jan Milne

At the Saumur CCI 3* last weekend a freak accident resulted in the loss of a very special horse.

Nullabor, a 17hh bay Irish sport horse gelding ridden by Clayton Fredericks, slipped and fell galloping between fences two and three on the cross-country course and sadly had to be put down.

Nullabor (stable name Neville) was a magnificent horse, with outstanding movement and jumping ability. He was on the Australian Elite Eventing Squad and the Shadow Team for the Beijing Olympic Games.

"He was everything you want in an event horse," said Jess Moffat, who groomed Neville in 2006 when he won the British Open Championships at Gatcombe.

As a photographer, rider and eventing devotee, Neville was just a delight for me to watch. He oozed ability and style ... a horse that you didn't want to take your eyes off.

His dressage test, only weeks ago in the worst possible weather of the entire Badminton dressage, stayed focused throughout a hail storm to leave a memory for me that I will never forget ... really exceptional!

I also remember watching Clayton schooling him at Burnham Market last year, two focused athletes doing what they do best together, in a quiet corner away from the bustle, just sharing each other's strengths and always improving, always looking better.

Neville was purchased by as a three-year-old from Ireland through Donal Barnwell and was owned in partnership by Peta and Edwin McAuley and Clayton.

The loss of this wonderful horse in the prime of his career is a great tragedy.

Clayton and Lucinda Fredericks said: "We respect and appreciate the beauty, grace and nobility of Neville and the gifts he brought us. We gratefully acknowledge the joy and unconditional love and acceptance he gave us. Neville made our dreams possible."

As Rudyard Kipling said "He will be our friend for always and always and always."

2006 British Open championship

Burghley 2007

Burghley 2007

Burghley 2007
© Jan Milne


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