The OdysseyOne of the most talented horses Karen was ever privileged to ride, The Odyssey was an exceptional eventer and show jumper. He simultaneously competed in both Advanced level eventing and Grand Prix Show Jumping excelling at each sport. The Odyssey never stopped in his career and the rails he took over his lifetime could be counted on one hand. He did not make mistakes.
The Odyssey is one of the horses that helped Karen develop her love of working with difficult horses. Purchased as a four year old, the first time Karen tried to introduce him to show jumping, he blind bolted from terror at a single rustic rail in the grass and promptly deposited Karen in hospital.
Clearly considered "mad" by Karen, she had no option but to persist in his training, as selling him was not an option and neither was a career in dressage for Karen! It was a gruelling and patient training process which took the best part of a tedious year but once The Odyssey clicked there was no turning back. He won his first four eventing starts and was graded Advanced at the end of his first year.
Well known for his love of water jumps and his unbeatable boldness cross country, The Odyssey and Karen never took an option across country. This was partly due to the fact that The Odyssey would never stop and also largely as Karen had very little control! Once he locked on to the flags, he had tunnel vision and that was that.
Karen accredits much of her desire to work with people and their problem horses to this horse. He was such an incredibly complex and difficult case that this is testament that with the right training and trust between horse and rider, anything can be overcome.
Sadly, while Karen was planning a trip to take The Odyssey to compete in the UK at Badminton he struck and severed a tendon on a steeplechase.
Although never able to compete again, he was rehabilitated and enjoyed his retirement, babysitting the youngstock until the age of 29 when he peacefully passed away, surrounded by those he loved and with his head buried in Karen's arms.
The Odyssey was laid to rest at Brookby Heights.