Monday, 7 August 2017

Greatest Horses - Murphy Himself

Murphy was a big (16.3hh) grey gelding who evented in the 1980's and 90's first with Ginny Leng and then with Ian Stark.  He was incredibly strong across country and fast!

Born in 1978, his dam was an Irish Sport Horse and his sire Royal Renown a Thoroughbred stallion.
Ginny Leng bought him as a 3 year old and started eventing him in 1983.  That year they won at Dauntsey and Aldbourne in the Novice class.  In 1984 they completed some Novice, Intermediate and Open Intermediate before moving up to Advanced at the end of the year and into 1985.  In 1986 they won the Advanced class at Brockehurst, Le Touquet and the 3 star Burghley event!

Murphy and Ginny had a few falls because she had trouble controlling him on cross country day.   Murphy would often bounce a double intended to be 1 stride, then in  1988 he jumped from the top to the bottom of the Ski Jump at Badminton.   

Following Ginny's fall that resulted from the giant leap Murphy was offered as a swap to Ian Stark. 
Together they were an amazing team.  That same year they won 3 of the 6 Advanced classes they entered, including Boekelo and Thirlestane Castle, were 2nd in one and third in another (Gatcombe).  They  won team and individual silver at the World Equestrian Games in 1990, were 2nd at Belton Park and Badminton 3 star in 1991 and 1st at Brigstock.  In 1992 they again won Brigstock and at Savernake and were selected for the Barcelona Olympic team.  Unfortunately, Murphy did not pass the final vets inspection.

He was then retired to a life of hunting but sadly an injury in the field meant he had to be put down.

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Until next time!


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