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Poignant farewell to Coolcorron Cool Diamond Irish show jumping legend

General October 23, 2013

He was great, brave, careful, honest, intelligent – as good a horse as you would ever want to go to war with.

Robert Splaine 2013

COOLCORRON Cool Diamond an Irish equine legend, known fondly as Bobbu spent his retirement in paddocks beside Irish show jumper Robert Splaine’s house on his farm in Co. Cork where this great horse passed away on Friday the 18th of October aged 24.

The stallion was owned by the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson  ridden by Robert Splaine, the Irish Show Jumping High Performance Manager, from 1995 until the horse’s retirement in 2007. His owner the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson said “”I think in this day and age more people should listen. Never were man and animal in such harmony as Robert Splaine and Coolcorron Cool Diamond. They did listen to each other. It was an honour to be part of such greatness.”

Robert Splaine and Coolcorron Cool Diamond at the Aachen Nations' Cup, 2003

Robert Splaine and Coolcorron Cool Diamond at the Aachen Nations’ Cup, 2003

Splaine recalls “He was a very independent character, always the boss yet a perfect gentleman as long as you didn’t get between him and the feeding trough!. The stallion hadn’t been himself for a while. He was struggling, and I knew it was time to make the difficult decision. We gave Bobbu the best of everything until the very end. He more than earned it. Every time I rode him – even at home – I felt privileged. He certainly got me up in the morning. As a famous statesman once said: ‘when you’re on a great horse, you have the best seat you will ever have’”.

The big handsome bay and Splaine won numerous grands prix in Ireland, and were Irish National Champions in 2007, when the stallion was 18. Together they regularly represented Ireland on Nations’ Cup teams securing many Cups, including Rotterdam, Washington, Toronto, Aachen, Lummen, and St. Gallen.

“Team jumping has always given me the most pleasure,” said Splaine, “and if I were to single out our most satisfying win, it has to be when our team won the Nation’s’ Cup in Aachen. He delivered a clear round in one of the toughest Cups at one of the greatest shows in front of 45,000 spectators. It stands out in my mind and always will.”

At the European Championships in Donaueschingen in Germany in 2003, the pair were on the Nations’ Cup team and contributed to Ireland’s qualification for the 2004 Athens’ Olympics. An injury sustained in that very event kept Coolcorron Cool Diamond out of the reckoning for the Olympic Games the following year.

Coolcorron Cool Diamond was a prominent sire greatly in demand. He was of traditional Irish breeding by the legendary King of Diamonds with Nordlys lines in his pedigree. He had the wonderful much sought after characteristics of the Irish Sport Horse which he has passed on down his line. He was approved by Horse Sport Ireland and Selle Francais.

Splaine said: “The plan was when he retired he would take up full-time stud duties as there was only a limited amount of time to cover a few mares while he was competing. But for some mysterious reason at a certain stage he seemed to take against the process and wouldn’t complete covering. We were never able to resolve the problem. However, thankfully there is a limited amount of frozen semen still available.” “In spite of all the challenges the Duchess and I take great pride in the fact that he did produce Mister Cool, with whom Helen Kearney won three Paralympic Medals at London in 2012.”

Enjoy this great footage of  the Legend Coolcorron Cool Diamond at MillStreet in 1999




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