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Carl Hester’s former team ride Escapado has sadly passed away at the age of 26.
Bought as five year old by Roly Luard, the Oldenburg son of Ex Libris went on to play a pivotal role in Carl’s international career. They accumulated domestic accolades including the 2004 National Champion title, they won international Grands Prix, were highest placed Brits with a 13th place at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 and flew to Los Angeles for the 2005 FEI World Cup™ Final.
Later that same year, they were on the British team at the FEI European Championships in Hagen, Germany, where they achieved a sensational third in the Grand Prix Special which, at the time, Carl said was “the best ride I have had on any horse”.
Escapado later teamed up with the Netherlands’ Hans Peter Minderhoud as the first international Grand Prix horse for the now well-known Dutchman.
In 2011, at the age of 18, Escapado returned to the UK to commence a long and happy retirement with his former groom, Caroline Dawson.
Carl paid tribute to Escapado on Facebook; “Sad day today as I said goodbye to a very special friend, Escapado aka Peanuts. He was 26yrs old and took me from last place in Aachen in 2003 to the highest placed Brit at Athens Olympics 2004, then finishing third in the Special at the 2005 European Champs. Peanuts then took Hans Peter Minderhoud to the start of his international career before we took him back to retire at 18 years old.
"I want to thank his faithful groom and my friend Caroline [Dawson] for giving him a gorgeous retirement. Peanuts lived out his days with two Shetland ponies who he adored. I can’t thank Caroline enough for his last few years, he will be much missed.”
The memory of Escapado will be firmly etched in the hearts of those who knew him, those who followed his career, and also in the history of the sport.