Irish eventer Camilla Speirs has announced the retirement of Portersize Just a Jiff, her pocket rocket super star who has amassed a huge fan following around the world.
Now 18 years old, the 15.2-hand Irish Sport Horse (Crosskeys Rebel X Mizen Talent) carried Camilla from a successful young rider career all the way to the biggest international stages. They’ve contested Badminton a whopping five times and finished 6th at Pau in 2016, and have represented Team Ireland at two Nations Cup events, two World Equestrian Games (Kentucky 2010 and Normandy 2014) and the London Olympics in 2012.
“For 14 years I have had the privilege of working with a true legend,” Camilla says of her longtime partner. “Taking me from Pony Club to Olympic Games, Jif and I have shared such a special partnership. Like in all sports, there have been ups and downs, but our journey has been simply incredible! We have travelled the world together and took on the biggest tracks in the sport. I owe him so much and appreciate all that he has done for me.
“At 18 years of age, he is still looking and feeling amazing and that is why we have decided to retire him this year as it is certainly what he deserves. We have chosen to announce his official retirement as part of the Eventing Demo Tour so that all his fans will have the opportunity to see my incredible star and cherish his amazing career.”
The Eventing Demo Tour traverses Ireland in February, and Jif will appear at each venue: Maryville Stables in Cork on Feb. 2, Spruce Lodge Equestrian in Wicklow on Feb. 3, and Portmore Equestrian Centre in Antrim on Feb. 4. His appearance on the tour will support the fundraiser for the High-Performance Eventing athletes on their way to the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, held later on this year.
Ronan Murphy, CEO of Horse Sport Ireland, commented, “On behalf of Horse Sport Ireland, I would like to thank Bridget and Camilla Speirs for making the Irish Sport Horse, Portersize Just a Jiff, available for Team Ireland Equestrian. He was a rising star from day one. From his early days competing for Team Ireland Equestrian at the European Junior Eventing Championships in 2006, he then progressed through the ranks and took Camilla up to competing at senior level at some of the toughest competitions around the world including the World Equestrian Games and at the London Olympics. He has left his mark in the history books of Irish Eventing and we wish him all the best in his happy retirement.”
A retirement well-earned! Read more about Camilla and Jif’s remarkable story here.