Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Greatest Horses - Stroller

Stroller was only 14.2hh but show jumped with much larger horses in numerous classes.  This included Puissance classes, his last was in 1967 when he jumped 6ft 8inches!

He  was born in 1950, his sire was Thoroughbred and his dam a Connemara pony.   Imported from Ireland in the 1950's by a dealer in Sussex he was sold on and initially ridden by Sally Cripps.  In 1960, after HOYS, Stroller was sold to Ralph Coakes for his daughter Marion to ride.  They joined the British junior show jumping team and rode to many victories. 

Marion managed to convince her father not to sell Stroller when she reached 16 and in his 2nd year competing as seniors they won; 3 Nations Cup events, the President's Cup and the World Championships.

In 1964 they won the Hickstead Derby Trial but came 2nd in the Derby itself.  

in 1965 they won the ladies World Championship at Hickstead.  They also won the Queen Elizabeth Cup at the Royal international in 1965.

In 1967 Stroller won the Hickstead Derby and was the only 1 to go clear.  The following year he was 2nd and in 1970 3rd!

In 1968 Stroller and Marion represented Britain at the Mexico Olympics.  Amazingly he had a decayed and split upper tooth but it was decided to give him painkillers and not take the tooth out before the competition.  They won the silver medal after jumping an enormous fence 1.7 metres high and 2.20 metres wide!

In 1970 he won the Derby at Hamburg and was the HOYS leading showjumper of the year.   In 1971 he won the British Championship at HIckstead and retired later that year. 

He lived until the age of 36 when he sadly died after a heart attack.

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Until next time!


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