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Farewell O'Neill

last updated on September 12, 2016 19:20

Farewell O'Neill

Sarah Millis’s Grand Prix horse O’Neill (pictured) has been put to sleep at the age of 20. The horse suffered a severe colic from which there would be no recovery. Sarah was forced to make the hardest decision on Saturday.

Sarah described “Neill” as the horse that not only taught her how to train Grand Prix but also how to deal with the character that she loved and loathed in equal measure as he was undoubtedly one of the most talented but frustrating horses she has ever ridden and trained.

Purchased as a three-year-old from Holland, the Jazz-sired bright bay gelding was known to be the “king of the yard” and made an impression on whoever he met. Their partnership spanned nearly two decades and brought Sarah into the senior international dressage scene, with notable wins and placings at Big Tour level on the national and international stage.

Sarah trained Neill from a just backed youngster to Grand Prix paving the way for many more successful partnerships with other horses including Katja Kuistilia’s HP Frontier, Furst Rubin and currently Hofjuwel, Furst Henrik and Behroez. Supremely talented, Neill was not without his challenges and many a weaker person would no doubt have struggled to persevere; Sarah however did and although he was known to suffer a little from stage fright in a big arena, he was a dream to own and ride with highlights in the piaffe and passage work.

"We’ll all miss Neill enormously, his tremendous character, grace and dignity coupled with huge talent will be impossible to forget and he leaves a big hole in my life,” said Sarah earlier.