WOSJ introduces a new series to highlight what our sport truly is about; that special bond between a horse and its rider. We have created a series of exclusive interviews with some of the top names of the sport, to discuss the horses that have shaped their careers, fulfilled their dreams – and sometimes even broken hearts.
In the third part of our series we talk to Cameron Hanley, a rider who's been a trusted part of the Irish national squad for years and well known for his love for his horses. Here Cameron reveals which horse that crossed his path was 'The Money Maker', 'The One That Got Away' and 'The Special One'.
"I am really lucky to have had many great horses, but to name the three for these categories would have to be Antello, Caretina de Joter and Ballaseyr Twilight.
Antello was 'The Money Maker' – even though he was very special too; at first my brother and I owned him – already as a youngster – then we sold half of him to Michael Whitaker. After he started doing big Grand Prix classes my new sponsor at the time bought him completely for me to ride. Then in 2015, I got to own him myself. From there on it was rare that he went to a show without winning money.”
“I guess the one that got away is Caretina de Joter. I had really taken my time producing her, and she felt to me like a horse that one day would be a real champion. To lose her at the end of her 9-year-old season was a shame, but I think it is great to see her jumping so amazing with Edwina."
“It is really difficult to pick only one that has been special because there have been so many that I've had a special connection with.
But I guess if I need to name only one, the really special one – although like I said there were many – is Ballaseyr Twilight. He wasn't a horse for everybody, but from day one we hit it off and enjoyed hacking together just as much as jumping and competing. We called him "Parker" and I got the ride on him in 2000. That year we were on three winning Nations Cup teams: in Falsterbo, Helsinki and at Hickstead. We also won the Grand Prix in Dublin and the King George V Cup at Hickstead.
What made him so special to me was that he was the horse that helped me find confidence in myself; he made me believe that I was good enough to ride big classes."
As told to WoSJ by Cameron Hanley // Text © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen // Picture © Jenny Abrahamsson
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