Mary King has decided to retire her London Olympic mount Imperial Cavalier from four-stars following a disappointing performance at Badminton, the Exmouth Journal reported. Mary and “Archie” were in 12th place after dressage on a score of 42.8 and survived this very hairy moment at the Outlander Bank before retiring at the Mirage Pond.
“Badminton was his last major three-day event,” Mary told the Exmouth Journal. “I will do some one-day events with him this autumn to finish his career. When these great horses come to the end of their career you have to bite the bullet and accept it.”
Mary went on to say that the horse lost his feistiness after the incident at the owl hole, and she decided to pull him up then: “I thought I wouldn’t ask any more of him. He’s done so much; so many huge courses in his life. He’s a proven cross country horse. When he tells me he’s not wanting to do it, it’s time for him to stop.”
At 16 years old, the horse certainly doesn’t have anything left to prove and will be remembered for his many top placings at four-stars. Archie’s notable performances include 13th at Badminton in 2013, 4th at Pau in 2012, 5th individually at the 2012 London Olympics, 3rd at Badminton in 2011, 6th individually at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, 4th at Badminton in 2010, 3rd at Burghley in 2008 and 2nd at Pau in 2007.
In all, Archie completed nine CCI4* events in his career, finishing in the top six in seven of them. What a horse! Kudos to Mary for retiring the horse from four-stars when she knew it was time, and best of luck to Archie in this next phase of his life. He’s certainly secured his place in eventing history and will be remembered as a true legend of the sport.