“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write” Laura Collett announces retirement for Mr Bass

Laura Collett on Mr Bass at Cornbury House Horse Trials 2021

“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write” Laura Collette announces Mr Bass’s Retirement

British Event rider and Olympic gold medalist, Laura Collette, took to social media on Friday 5th November to announce the official retirement of her 4* event horse, Mr Bass.

A firm favourite with eventing fans, the 16.2hh 13-year-old gelding has carried Laura through the ranks of eventing since 2013. Their first BE win came in 2014 at Salperton Park (Novice), with another the same year at Camphire CIC Young Horse, Ireland.

The following years saw the pair compete on the international circuit at numerous high-end and much loved equestrian events including Bramham International, Blenheim Palace and Chatsworth.

In 2019, after a steady rise through the levels, Laura took Mr Bass to Badminton Horse Trials for their first 5* event. Unfortunately, the gelding was injured during the cross country element and the pairing withdrew. On further investigation it was confirmed the horse had sustained a tendon injury and forwent the remaining seasons calendar.

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After given the go-ahead to compete, the pair got right back on track and returned to British Eventing competition in July 2020. Later that year they travelled to Pau (October) to compete at CCI-L5* level where it seemed they had everything to ride for finishing in 16th position, after a clear cross country and 4 fault showjumping round.

Laura Collett on Mr Bass at Cornbury House Horse Trials 2021
Laura Collett on Mr Bass at Cornbury House Horse Trials 2021- Image credit Sarah Farnsworth Photography

Since Pau, the Carrico x gelding who is fondly known as Chuck at home, has campaigned successfully at Open Intermediate (OI) and a selection of 4* level events including Bicton International where the pair finished in 5th and Cornbury House Horse Trials OI, taking a well deserved win.

“It’s safe to say – “Chuck” truly is one in a million”

Laura Collett

Unfortunately the end of the 2021 season also sees in the official retirement for Mr Bass as his tendon injury recurred and the decision to retire him from top level sport was made.

Laura spoke of her feelings for her ‘best friend’ who she co-owns with Keith Scott and Nick How:

I owe it to him to do the right thing, therefore we have made the very difficult decision to retire him from top level Eventing.”

Although early retirement may not have been the ending Laura and her team had envisaged, Mr Bass will no doubt enjoy a well deserved, and somewhat luxurious retirement.

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