“Together they competed for Ireland on at least 10 winning Nations Cup teams, two European Championships, a World Championships and placed 4th in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. ” Team Ireland Equestrian.
Carling King (ISH) – 1991 Chestnut, Gelding, by Clover Hill (RID), out of Gortnageer Star, by Chairlift (TB)
The Irish show jumper Carling King by Colverhill, has sadly died. The Irish Sport Horse was ridden by Irish rider Kevin Babington. This iconic gelding won our hearts as well as numerous medals over the course of his equestrian career. Carling King won a team gold medal for Ireland at the European Championships in 2001 and was a long serving member of 11 winning Nations Cup teams.
Upon his retirement in 2007, Carling King who competed at the highest level of sporting equestrianism contribution to the sport and his country was honoured. At the Nations Cup in Wellington, Florida a presentation was made to rider Kevin Babington and owner Saly Glassman by International Horse Board (IHB) director general Nick Finnerty. ‘‘This was a remarkable horse, and the Irish teams were enriched by his presence,” said Dan Butler, Equestrian Federation of Ireland Secretary General afterwards. “Everyone here, I am sure, will join me in wishing Carling King a long and happy retirement.”
Carling King was bred in Glenamaddy, Co. Galway in Ireland by the late Dr Pat Geraghty. In 1996 he went on to win the five-year-old national championships at the world famous Royal Dublin Horse Show (RDS). As a seven year old Carling King was purchased by Saly Glassman. He was relocated to America where he then was partnered with Kevin Babington as his rider.
Carling King went on to win the Hickstead Grand Prix in 2000, the King Georges V Cup at Hickstead in 2003, as well as individual fourth at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
His retirement was spent at home with his rider Kevin Babington in the US where he lived out the rest of his happy days. A touching tribute was posted on Kevin Babington’s Facebook page which sums up their heartfelt relationship.
“When we think of those companions who travelled by our side down life’s road, let us not say with sadness that they left us behind, but rather say with gentle gratitude that they once were with us.”
Rest in Peace, Carling King
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