McLain Ward announced today that he has retired his 2-time Olympic mount, the magnificent jumper Sapphire. The 17-year old queen of show jumping strained a check ligament last March and had the rest of the year off. Many hoped she was being aimed at the 2012 Olympics.
Horse Junkies United reports this statement from McLain Ward:
“Now that the news has broke of Sara’s retirement, I want to a take this opportunity to thank you all for your wonderful comments, many of which have made me teary eyed. While it is the end of her incredible career, I refuse to be sad. Sara is retiring healthy, happy and at her best.
I am so grateful that fate chose me as the one to be in her life, be her rider and partner as she blazed her trail into show jumping history. There will be times I will certainly miss her being by my side when the pressure is on but when I think of her, all I have is incredible memories. As I look back, all I can say is “how lucky were we?”
The video below shows Sapphire’s victory over Hickstead at Spruce Meadows — two of show jumping’s greats!
Although Sapphire has not yet been bred, I have read that Sapphire was cloned twice. If that’s true it will be interesting to see if the clones have her talent and her heart.