Shortly before the great stallion, Cruising, passed away, his owner Mary McCann took a few minutes to chat with Showjumping Ireland about the legacy the horse had created.
Born a chestnut before turning gray, Cruising was never an easy horse to work with. “As a two year old, he started this business of roaring his head off every time he saw a mare, which I can tell you is very annoying in a yard,” Mary recalled. “So I got a bit annoyed, and I was going on my holidays in the February that he was coming up to three, and Edward Doyle was with us at the time.
“I can remember saying to Edward, ‘If you don’t teach that horse to lunge before I come home and see that he jumps a pole, because if he doesn’t jump a pole he’s going to be castrated because I’m sick of him!’ So I hadn’t even gone on my holidays when Edward came over and said ‘Well, he’s learned to lunge in two days’ and he said ‘You’d better come and see this because I’ve just jumped him over a foot high pole and he gave it six feet.’ So, he wasn’t castrated.”
Mary recalled Cruising being particularly difficult in his younger days, with many of his riders, her daughter Jenny included, spending more time on the ground than in the saddle. But the stallion was talented and, as we all know, ultimately achieved much international success.
We will always remember this handsome gray stallion for both the competitive legacy he left behind as well as the offspring who are competing at the top levels in multiple arenas around the world. Even into his final days, he was still full of the sass and fire that we all loved about him. Rest in peace, Cruising.