With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on the horizon, we will see two equine powerhouses competing under a new flag in 2019. Australian Hazel Shannon has gotten the ride on Cooley SRS, and Vinci de la Vigne will join Kazuma Tomoto’s string.
Oliver Townend announced yesterday that his European gold medalist Cooley SRS has been sold to Australian Terry Snow, who is giving the ride to two-time Adelaide winner Hazel Shannon.
Formerly owned by Angela Hislop, the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Ramiro B x Ballynattin Pride, by Kiltealy Spring) competed successfully through CCI4* level with Oliver, finishing second at Badminton this spring. The pair were also were part of the European gold medal winning team at Strzegom in 2017.
Oliver’s statement pointed to ‘mixed emotions’ on the sale. “Since ‘Aero’ came to us as a 4-year-old he has not only proven to be an astounding athlete, but also a very dear friend to myself, Angela (Hislop, his owner) and our whole team.”
“It’s very sad to see a top class horse, particularly one that finished runner up in his first 4* at Badminton this year, leave the yard and Britain – but, at the same time, his sale enables Angela to invest in another future star.”
Hazel recently became the second rider to win The Australian International Three-Day Event twice with Willingapark Clifford, who is also owned by Terry.
“I’m extremely happy to see him go to a lovely home with Terry Snow, who is a huge supporter of equestrianism,” Oliver said. “I hope that Cooley SRS will bring as much pleasure to Terry and his new rider, Hazel Shannon, as he has done to both myself and Angela, and I wish them every success.”
Laurent Bousquet with Francecomplet.fr reported this week that Vinci de la Vigne has been acquired by the Japanese Federation with Kazuma Tomoto picking up the ride.
The 9-year-old Selle Francais has competed successfully through the CCI3* level with Frenchman Astier Nicholas, most recently finishing 7th at the World Equestrian Games. Esterel des Bois SF x Korrigane de Vigne SF, by Duc du Hutrel).
Ahead of the 2018 season, Astier explained to Grand Prix Replay that he and the shared owners Philippe and Marie-José Gerard planned to aim for WEG and sell the gelding afterwards.
Kazuma, who is based with William Fox-Pitt, now further strengthens the increasingly impressive Japanese team, who finished fourth at WEG, ahead of their hosting the Olympic Games.