Olympic gold medal winning horse to be retired at Hickstead

Top showjumper Tripple X III will be retired on the final day of the Longines Royal International Horse Show 

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Tripple X III, the horse who took Britain’s Ben Maher to Olympic team gold at London 2012, is to be officially retired at Hickstead.

A retirement ceremony will take place shortly before the year’s Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup, a class he won in 2013 with Ben Maher.

“It is fitting that Tripple X III will be retired here,” says Lizzie Bunn, Director of the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead. “The Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup was the pair’s final five-star Grand Prix win together, and their win was the last time a British rider has taken this historic title at Hickstead.”

Ben Maher bred the dark bay stallion, whose stable name is Hugo, and he went on to huge international success, winning five-star Grands Prix around the world. It was no surprise when he and Ben were selected for the British team for their home Olympic Games in 2012, especially after helping them to secure European Team bronze in 2011.  

“Tripple X has had a remarkable career in top level showjumping, and who can forget the part he played in helping Team GB to win gold at London 2012,” adds Lizzie. “I was so lucky to be at Greenwich that day to see the British team win their first showjumping team gold medal in 60 years. It was thrilling jump-off, like the equestrian equivalent of a penalty shootout, and Ben and Tripple X’s fast clear round came at a pivotal time to put real pressure on the Dutch riders.”

Shortly after winning the Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup, Tripple X III was sold to Canada, where he was campaigned by showjumper Tiffany Foster. The pair went on to have further international success, including a team gold medal for Canada at the Toronto Pan American Games, and were part of the Canadian team at the Rio Olympics.

Tripple X III is now 17, and the decision has been made to retire him from top level sport. “After a few attempts to bring him back from minor injuries, his owners – Andy and Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms – and I have decided that we think it is time for him to retire from international competition,” Tiffany wrote in an online statement. “He is happy and sound now and we want him to stay that way so he can enjoy his time out hacking and in the paddock. I can’t really put into words what this horse means to me. All I can say is that for me, he will always be one of the greatest and I will cherish the moments that I had with him.”

Both Ben and Tiffany will be at the Longines Royal International Horse Show later this month, and the retirement ceremony will take place on Sunday 28 July. “We’re honoured that they have chosen our show for Tripple X’s retirement ceremony, which is sure to be an emotional event as showjumping fans get to say a farewell to one of the most prolific horses in recent years,” says Lizzie.

Tickets for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain at the Longines Royal International Horse Show (23-28 July) are on sale now from www.hickstead.co.uk

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