A 21-year-old horse is still in his prime, winning events ranging from dressage to show jumping for his West Sussex rider, Marie-Anne Olivier. Monarch Motivator, a thoroughbred 16.1hh dark bay horse, has proved that age is no barrier to success and is enjoying life, clocking up consistently more successes.
Steyning-based Marie-Anne, who is a member of Mid Sussex Riding Club, said: “He might be 21, but he thinks he is still seven years old. I am very proud of him doing so well at his age.”
Monarch Motivator, known at home as Raj, is owned by Joseph Daborn and had been successfully evented by him to advanced level until three years ago at which point the classy gelding came to Marie-Anne.
He is a real one-off and is by Monarch’s Pass, who was, in turn, by Just A Monarch. And Monarch’s Pass was gelded shortly after his mating with Grade B show jumper November Dell, meaning that this 21-year-old is unique in every way.
His rider has an equally solid equestrian background, having come up through the ranks of Southdown West Pony Club and been riding since she was eight-years-old. Marie-Anne enjoyed many years of competing in Prince Philip Cup events, including internationally, before going on to work with horses.
“I worked in an eventing yard in the USA, with summers in Boston and the winters spent at Palm Beach, and then came back to this country working in a showing yard and a hunting yard, before taking up an office job in Steyning and combining that with riding and competing for pleasure,” she said.
This year Marie-Anne and Raj were members of the Mid Sussex Riding Club team which won the Senior Dressage qualifier for Hartpury Winter Championships. They also qualified with Mid Sussex Riding Club for Royal Windsor where they finished mid table in a strong dressage field and just out of the ribbons in the individual show jumping but were runners up as members of the Area 13 team in show jumping, against tough all-round opposition.
In the recent South East Unaffiliated Dressage Championships at Hickstead this year, Marie-Anne and Raj won their section of the Novice Dressage Championships and were Reserve Champions in the Elementary.
Marie-Anne said :”It was brilliant. I didn’t think we would even get a place, but he went well in both tests. We’ve been selected for the Mid Sussex show jumping team at the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead on August 4 this year and I’m looking forward to competing with him there. He is such a superstar, for to still be able compete in different categories with such success at his age is a great achievement.”