Next up in the WoSJ Close-Up series is one of our all-time favorites; Cristallo! All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.
Cristallo was bred to win; the 14 year old gelding is by Caretino x Cicero, and comes from Thieß Meier's stud.
Cristallo topped the WBFSH's final jumping horse ranking this year.
On the possibility of replacing Cristallo, Richard said in Valkenswaard this summer; "Every year I have tried to find a horse better than him, but I can't do it !"
The Spooner-Cristallo-trademark; not leaving the ring without a goodie!
“Cristallo is a bit wild, and he always has been,” Richard said to WoSJ earlier this year.
In action at the Gucci Paris Masters!
When other horses got tired in the unbelievable heat in Valkenswaard this summer, Cristallo just jumped better and better – ending second; “I’m proud of my horse. He likes this weather it’s just kind of our normal weather at home in Los Angeles so really he was ready for another three or four rounds,” Richard joked afterwards.
Wins in Wellington, at Spruce Meadows, in Geneva and La Coruna - that's just some of the great results that Cristallo has produced this season.
“I need to do the big shows with him. With a horse like that I feel a responsibility to take him to the top shows; it wouldn’t be fair to leave him to just jump in the US," Spooner has said of Cristallo.
Richard on Cristallo:"Cristallo is an extraordinary athlete. He is an unbelievable jumper, and really doesn’t want to hit the jumps!"
Cristallo has been with Richard since he was a five year old.
In the ring he has Richard on his back, but at home it's Richard's wife who rides him. "He loves her," Richard told WoSJ!