Thank you Super Nova
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Following Spencer Wilton’s recent announcement of Super Nova’s retirement at the age of 18, it’s time to celebrate the career of this medal-winning team horse and flag-bearer for British breeding.
Spencer and Super Nova were part of the British team that won team silver at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, they represented Great Britain at the 2017 FEI European Championships in Gothenburg and at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon where they helped the British to team bronze.
The athletic bay gelding was foaled in 2003, bred by the late Mrs Eve Kirby, a renowned British breeder based near Cardiff who, along with her husband, was known especially for her success in breeding British Hanoverians.
He was bought as a weanling by Melanie Phillips of Ruxton Horses who named him Ruxton Dimitri. Melanie started him under saddle and trained him through his early formative years and was always wowed by the talent of this super-sensitive horse.
On taking Neville to Carl Hester’s for a lesson, Carl was equally impressed. The horse was later sold to Carl Hester and Roly Luard where he was initially produced and competed by Katie Bailey, before Charlotte Dujardin and subsequently Carl himself took over the reins.
In 2012, Super Nova was acquired by Spencer Wilton’s long-time supporter Jen Goodman and Spencer quicky formed a world class partnership with the sensitive and sweet-natured gelding known affectionately as ‘Neville’.
They were crowned Prix St Georges Champions at the 2013 National Championships and in addition to their British team successes, Spencer and Neville enjoyed numerous CDI big tour victories including Barcelona, Lier, Doha, Compiègne, Hickstead and Keysoe.
Neville has been my horse of a lifetime and has given his owner Jen Goodman and myself the most amazing journey with memories that will stay with us forever. It’s been a blast!
“After eleven amazing years Super Nova aka Neville has come to the end of his competitive career. I was hoping that he was going to have the chance to shine one more time representing Team GB in 2021, but it was not to be,” says Spencer.
“At 18 years young he will now enjoy a quieter life spending the majority of his time doing what he loves most, hacking and eating grass!
“His favourite person, groom, Claire Hinton will continue to be at his beck and call 24/7 as she has done for so many years. They have a very special bond with each other and Claire has been with us for all the highs and most importantly she’s been there to pick us both up from all the lows.
“Neville has been my horse of a lifetime and has given his owner Jen Goodman and myself the most amazing journey with memories that will stay with us forever. It’s been a blast!”
Photo © Jon Stroud Media