Abbervail Dream: The horse of a lifetime
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Abbervail Dream at the age of 28. Mac, as he was known by all, lived out the twilight years of his life at rider Di Lampard and Dietmar Ackermann’s Spring Farm in Oakham, Rutland, Great Britain.
Mac was bought in 1990 in Ireland by Robert and Dina Verburgt as a 3 year old unbroken liver chestnut gelding from Dr. Noel Cawley. Mac was by the thoroughbred gelding Chair Lift out of Killea Beauty, by Smooth Stepper xx. After he was broken to saddle in Ireland he moved, aged 4, to Di Lampard who started competing him in novice classes and they began a journey which would touch many lives. Di an Mac quickly established a close bond which was to last a lifetime.
In 1993 as a 6 year old Mac qualified for three young horse finals at the Horse of the Year Show but a collecting ring accident left Di with a broken leg. At the age of 7, Mac went to Hickstead and won the Queens Cup that same year jumping his first World Cup at Olympia in London. This marked the start of a highly successful International career during which the combination became the mainstay of the British Team.
Di and Mac made their debut in the British Team at CSIO Rotterdam when he was eight years old and this was followed by over 40 appearances in the British Team. Mac’s last appearance in the ring was at St Gallen CSIO in 2003 in a Nations cup career spanning a decade. In 2004 Mac was officially retired at Hickstead with his dedicated groom of many years Hillary Thompson taking care of him that last time.
Di and Mac went to two FEI European Championships (Hickstead and Arnhem) and two FEI World Equestrian Games (Rome and Jerez).
In 1999, readers of the Horse and Hound voted Abbervail Dream “Horse of the Year”, a rare honour for a showjumper in a Great Britain.
Some career highlights for Abbervail Dream and Di Lampard:
Winner Olympic Star Spotters, Horse of the Year Show
2 x winner and 3 x 2nd, Queen Elisabeth Cup, Hickstead
Winner Cock of the North, Great Yorkshire Show
Winner Leading Showjumper of the Year, Horse of the Year Show
2nd World Cup Helsinki, 3rd World Cup Oslo, 2nd Grand Prix Aarhus WC, 4th Bremen Masters, 5th Berlin Grand Prix as well as numerous other wins placings around Europe.
Winner with Team GB including CSIO Dublin, Hickstead, San Marino and Lummen as well as numerous placings in Calgary, Rome, Dublin, La Baule, St Gallen and Rotterdam.
Team Bronze medallist, WEG Rome 1998 and 12th individually
Mac was a tough, brave yet careful blood horse with unlimited scope – he was a fighter who excelled in representing Great Britain in nations cups around the World. All of us will treasure our memories of him forever.
Robert and Dina (Matta) Verburgt
Den Haag, The Netherlands (10th September 2015)
Breeding details: Abbervail Dream (ISH) – 1987 gelding by Chair Lift (TB) out of Killea Beauty (ISH), by Leabeg (ISH)*. Breeder: Majorie Quarton, County Tipperary. Owners: Robert & Dina Verburgt.
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