Kevin got Travelling Lad (TL) in 1996. Why? Well, he swapped him for a horse he had at the time, as Kevin felt that TL showed more potential. Luckily for Kevin he was right. TL was never easy and had many laughs at Kevin, including dumping him and giving him a good kick in the chest – just for good measure. When Kevin and I got together, I evented so Kevin decided to give it a go with TL and, as they say, the rest is history. They started off in Pre-Novice in 1999 and were novice by the end of the year, the following year they went Intermediate and TL was selected to go to Shongweni for the Inter-provincials, but he hurt himself the week before they were to go so he did not make the trip.
Round about the same time we approached Duncan of Equi-Feeds regarding TL and a feed programme for him. Duncan asked if Equi-Feeds could try a new feed with TL – Equi-Feeds Tranquil Feed. We had nothing to lose so agreed. Subsequent to the trial period with TL and the success of the feed Equi-Feeds started producing the Equi-Feeds Tranquil Feed and TL became one of their sponsored horses. Thanks to TL, Equi-Feeds then agreed to also sponsor our other horses.
From 2001 – 2005 he was a member of the WP Eventing Team. In 2004, he did not place lower than 2nd at any Intermediate event he competed at and won the Victor Ludorum for that year.
In between his Eventing, TL competed up to C’ Grade in SJ and Elementary Dressage, TL and Kevin even competed in EM once.
In 2005 he injured his suspensory during the Team event and had most of 2006 off. We thought he might be able to event again, but he could not and so he came to me. I gave showing a go, much to TL’s disgust. He did not enjoy getting “dolled up” but put up with it – the best compliment I ever got was at a show at NRA last year where the judge told me he had huge potential as a hack - when he matured, I politely informed her that he was 15yrs old already and a retired Open Eventer, she in turn looked at his legs and told me I had to be kidding, not with legs that clean! I also did Elementary dressage with him and the last 3 shows he won a class at two of the shows and placed 3rd in another, not bad for a 16yr T/Bred.
TL was always up for a good laugh and in Dressage you knew he was going to misbehave in one of his tests, you just did not know which one or what he would do – at NRA last year he bucked so badly that Laura Kotze complimented the fact that I did not fall off!
He loved been ridden and could be a real pain. If Kevin rode him he was convinced it was to go for a gallop and would spend the entire ride bucking and squealing. The last ride I had with him was just as exciting!! He was one of Trish’s favourites and as Trish will tell you , was always up to have a joke in the lesson, be it bolting down the long side or bucking in the canter – he would think of something.
We will treasure the twelve years of memories of this special boy who gave of his all at every Event. Hein, who has looked after him for the last few years, always said if we were taking TL to a show he was guaranteed to get a rosette to take home with him.
He now joins his long-time friend, Bolli, and as Anna said, one can only imagine the havoc they are creating.
Inge sent me this message: "Will always remember TL the champion, loving and excelling at everything he did! He can now play games with Bolli in that special field and look down and laugh at our young horses learning to do the things that he did so well.
Kevin & Merri