Chance Remark, the 17-year-old partner of young event rider Willa Newton, finished eighth at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in September having finished fifth at Luhmuhlen earlier in the summer. The pair had been entered for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in May, but withdrew at the last minute when Austen was not quite right.
Announcing Austen’s retirement, Newton commented that they had hoped to give him one more season but sadly it wasn’t meant to be. The pair competed on three occasions this spring, with their last outing being at Burnham Market, where they finished 28thin the Advanced section.
Willa commented: “He had been in such good form and in great condition that it was gutting to have to withdraw him at the last minute before Badminton. He has done so much for me and, having had such a brilliant season last year, it is definitely the right decision.
“I feel incredibly lucky to have done what we have done together and I am so very grateful to him for giving me some amazing moments. I don’t think I will ever ride a horse that makes 5 star feel that easy and I am just so grateful to the owners that I got to play a small part in this amazing horse’s career. Austen owes us nothing and, although it was a difficult decision to retire him, hopefully he can enjoy a happy retirement fit and well.”
Chance Remark’s owners Feena Machin and Peter Thomas added: “It’s every owner’s dream to achieve 5 star success and we are immensely proud of Willa and her team for establishing such a great relationship with Chance Remark and taking us on a fantastic journey to the top.”
Bred by Kevin Fawl, Chance Remark is by the thoroughbred Actinium out of a mare by Farney Clover. He was bought out of Ireland as a four-year-old and Willa acquired the ride in 2013 when one of his owners moved to the next-door village and was looking for someone to campaign the horse. He was formerly ridden by his owner and Rebecca Crosbie Starling with who he completed Bramham CCIU253*.