Just how good do you have to be to get a pony for Christmas? How much better do you have to be to get a horse that’s been around Rolex three times?
James Alliston posted on his Facebook page yesterday that his 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Parker is for sale.
Santa, are you listening?
“He was the first horse I bought in America and has given me some fantastic memories,” James said. “It will be extremely sad to part with him, but unfortunately it’s part of the business if I want to keep going back to Rolex in the future with other horses. I think his great jumping and enthusiasm for the sport will give someone else a lot of pleasure and experience also.”
Parker is a former racehorse bred by Colonial Farms in New Jersey and registered with the Jockey Club as Eastside Park (Marquetry x Hello Mom).
He raced 15 times, earning less than $9,000. Parker and Alliston partnered in 2008, competing in their first event at the Training level at the Ocala Horse Properties Winter I Horse Trials.
Together, they climbed the levels, completing their first Advanced at Twin Rivers in 2010 and jumping clear around Rolex cross-country (twice double clear) in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
After Rolex this year, Parker got some time off before returning to the ring with India McEvoy at Training level at the Summer Event at Woodside. “He was already an established four-star horse, so unless I took him abroad, I didn’t want to do more three stars on him,” James said.
“I did this in 2013 also after Rolex, but this year India McEvoy, who used to own Jumbo’s Jake for me, rode him to get back into the riding after being at vet school. It was nice, as her horse was a great horse for me, and I enjoy having Parker at the shows even if I’m an owner and not the rider.”
Parker is not likely to win the dressage, but he is as reliable as they get on cross country. With 49 horse trials and FEI events on his record (22 at Advanced through four-star), he’s incurred cross-country jumping penalties only twice.
“In an ideal world, I’d love to keep him and keep going back to Rolex, but he’s 12 now, so I think he has a lot of big events left in him,” James said. “Hopefully I can get some decent money for him to put into my next generation of horses.”
So get your letter to Santa written and leave lots of Pony Puffs out for the reindeer. You might be the lucky good girl or boy to wake up with Parker under the tree!