Fifty Shades Of Grey...Horses
With the launch of the final Fifty Shades of Grey film we are thinking all things grey. As much as we love Mr Grey, we'd much rather daydream about 50 of the greatest grey horses from across the equestrian disciplines.
You can't call yourself an eventing fan if you don't instantly think of the legend that is Avebury when thinking of grey horses. The undeniable King of Barbury Castle (four time CIC3* winner) and record breaking three time Burghley CCI4* winner, partner of Andrew Nicholson. 'Buddy' was retired in 2016 following a win at Great Witchingham in March. He spent he short retirement being ridden by Andrew's children Zach and Lilly.
The world renowned mount of John Whitaker, is one of the most iconic show jumpers of all time. Winner of over £1 million worth of prize money he is little more than a legend. Officially 'Marius Silver Jubilee' he was commonly known as Milton or Everest Milton. Winner of the FEI World Cup in both 1990 and 1991, Milton also partnered John Whitaker to a double European Team Gold and an Individual European Gold medal in Rotterdam in 1989. Milton sadly died in 1999 and is buried on the Whitaker's farm in Yorkshire.
'Dessie' - one of the most decorated National Hunt horses of all time. Timeform ranked him the 5th best Racehorse of all time, and so he should be with his extensive list of major wins. Winner of the King George VI Chase (1986, 1988, 1989, 1990), Cheltenham Gold Cup (1989), Irish Grand National (1990), Gainsborough Chase (1987, 1989, 1991) and the Tingle Creek Chase in 1988, as just a very short overview of some of his notable victories. He's a horse that will be talked about for many years to come.
The infamous grey that Nick Skelton broke the British showjumping high-jump record on, by clearing 7ft 7in at Olympia in 1978
Leslie Law's Olympic Silver medal winning partner, owned by Shearwater Insurance. 'Solo' amassed an impressive £80,000 in prize money during an 11 year career. A stalwart of the British team at the Olympic, World and European games, he died peacefully in 2014 aged 24.
Having listed Shear H20 we couldn't miss out his equally, if not more, successful full brother Shear L'eau. The 2004 Olympic Champion was bought by Jeremy Lawton following the success of Shear H20, "If it wasn't for Solo we'd have never bought Stan and we wouldn't have an Olympic gold". Just like his brother he lived a long and happy life, as the only horse Leslie Law took with him when he emigrated to America. Stan sadly passed away in 2017, aged 26.
A prolific stallion and Olympic show jumper. Carthago Z partnered Jos Lansink to the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics and went on to win the Nations Cup in Aachen, Rotterdam and La Baule as well numerous Grand Prix. He is considered and will always be one of the most important sires in the world, having sired over 75 active breeding stallions around the world. Owning one of his progeny is an honour we treasure.
The formidable French gelding, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Ruby Walsh. The £1.3million winning racehorse won the Hennessy Gold Cup in 2011 and The Grand National in 2012, among many other notable races.
Owned by the Para Dressage Trust, the 17 year old is a well decorated Para dressage horse with appearances at World Games and European Championships, as well as becoming a Gold and Silver medallist as part of the Gold medal winning GBR team at the 2008 Paralympics.
One of the most popular event horses of all time, he competed to the grand old age of 20. Competed to 3* level by his owner Lexi Jackson before Caroline Powell picked up the reins in 2004. "Ed" and Caroline when on to complete Badminton CCI4* seven times in a row, finishing in the top 12 no less than 5 times. They represented New Zealand at the Hong Kong and London Olympics, bringing home a Team Bronze at the latter. Their crowing glory came at Burghley in 2010, where they completed on a 38.7s dressage score to lift the trophy and write themselves into the history books, and more recently the Event Riders Association Burghley Hall of Fame.
Half Moon Delphi
The DiMaggio mare that represented Great Britain at the European Championships in 2013 and the World Equestrian Games in 2014 with Michael Eilberg. The pair also scored 80%+ in the Aachen freestyle in 2014, before she was sold to America, to Bob Price for Sarah Daehnert to compete.
Dr Polly Taylor's pint sized 4* mare that 'galloped and jumped for fun' for rider Phoebe Buckley. "Frosty" placed 16th at Burghley CCI4* in 2008, despite only being 14.3hh. The feisty little mare spent her retirement hunting and team chasing with the Cunning Stunts.
Not a past star but a future one for Charlotte Dujardin. The stunning grey mare is a distinct prospect for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020
Billy The Biz
The Cevin Z bred 2016 Olympic partner of Pippa Funnell.