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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Horse news briefs: two sad losses, Aussies overseas and para dressage results

ABOVE: Zipping, pictured with his trainer Robert Hickmott, enjoying retirement at Living Legends.

VICTORIA’S Living Legends retirement home for some of the world’s most famous racehorses has lost one of its favorite residents, with the champion Zipping suffering a paddock accident and having to be put to sleep.

From 47 starts for four trainers, Zipping recorded 16 wins and 10 placings with prizemoney of $4,531,195. He ran fourth in three Melbourne Cups. He was cremated and his ashes have been buried at Living Legends.

Chief executive of Living Legends Andrew Clark was brought to tears remembering the connection between Zipping and Efficient who spent their retirement next to each other as they had while racing.

“Zip and Fish, they were together for so long and were a great pair,” Dr Clark said. “The link between them was very, very strong. In every paddock there was a boss and Zip was the boss, they were an odd couple, a special couple.

“The thing that left the biggest effect on me, we were driving the float away and Fish chased it down calling out to see if Zip was in there. He was a wonderful horse and we’re all going to miss him so much, it was very special to all come together to say goodbye to him, he was very loved.”


If you love Thoroughbreds or Standardbreds and want to contribute your knowledge, a Charles Sturt University researcher seeks participants for an online survey to identify physical and behavioural attributes shown in retired racehorses that are enjoying a successful post-racing career. Click here for more information.


Australian carriage driver Boyd Exell had a lucky escape at the Valkenswaard International last week when the leader’s trace carrier caught on the hook end of a safety barrier going to the exit of the last obstacle.

Thanks to the quick reactions of the public and fellow competitors, the issue was fixed and the team completed the marathon. Luckily there were no injuries to the horses as the protective boots did their job.

Because it happened after the obstacle, the incident did not result in any penalty points, but Exell finished too late in the route and it brought him 3.25 time penalty points.

He still won the event. Fellow Australian Tor Van Den Burge placed 24th in the comp and qualified for the World championships. Andrew Damsma placed 20th in the pairs event.

* Former President of the Welsh Pony and Cob Society Peter Taubman, of Amaranda Stud, has passed away.

Peter’s stud was founded in 1957 when he was given a pony mare from which he bred his first foal and Amaranda Stud began. For 60 years Peter bred quality Australian and Welsh ponies in particular, with Nattai, Weston and Imperial lines. Amaranda mares have been the foundation of many studs.

Many members would be familiar with Peter. He was always enthusiastic and welcoming and loved his ponies, living for many years on his beautiful property, Montcalm. Peter was a great host, and assisted often with providing accommodation to overseas judges at his apartment, the “Pink Palace” in Sydney, overlooking the harbour.


Equestrian Federations around the world are becoming very conscious of being seen to do the right thing by competition horses.

At the 2022 Danish Dressage Championships, the national equestrian federation held a tack and health check of horses and ponies, which were inspected for lesions in the mouth and girth and spur area.

Eleven combinations were sent home, five of them due to mouth ulcers.

* In better dressage news, Jayden Brown has hit the ground running with his mount Willinga Park Quincy B shortly after arriving in England. The pair won their first dressage class at the Wellington CDI, British Dressage Premier League and Festival of Para Dressage.

Jayden and Quincy B competed in the Prix St Georges winning with 73.284 per cent in a field of 28 competitors.

Dressage fans applauded Australian Olympian Kristy Oatley when she retired her equine partner Du Soleil from international competition after the 18-year-old had a double victory at the 2022 CDI Wiesbaden. After a great performance in the Kur to Music with 79.430 per cent, Kristy felt it was the perfect note for the horse to finish on.


Despite challenging weather, Boneo Park conducted a very successful Equestrian Australia Para Equestrian CPEDI championship. The freestyle winners and overall champions in Grade II were Maddison Cooke and Byalee Magic II.Grade III champion was Kelly Ffrost and Highfield Luda Dijon, Grade IV Zoe Vorenas and Wis Forte and Grade V champion was Stuart Drysdale and Blueberry.


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