Since the age of three, I’ve been a horse crazy girl. I was enamored by their elegance, their ability to make any day feel like a treat, and the feeling of pure joy every time I sat atop them. They took care of me, and I took care of them.
But there was one consistent horse in my childhood that truly spoke to me — Black Beauty. Yes, I know, it sounds cliche, and yes, I know he’s a fictional horse, but Black Beauty was MY horse growing up. Never having owned a horse of my own, he was the horse of my dreams. No matter how many times I’ve watched the movie, to this day I still cry every time Black Beauty spots Joe at the auction and musters all of his remaining energy to whinny. Through all his hardships, Black Beauty is reunited with his person and they live happily ever after... does anyone have a tissue handy?
Tripple X III and Tiffany Foster represent Team Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games. Photo by Sportfot.
So when I first laid eyes upon the magnificent creature that is Tripple X III (aka Hugo), my mind immediately thought of Black Beauty. Hugo is Black Beauty in real life, from his commanding presence and can-do attitude, right down to that perfect star on his forehead. I watched countless hours of horse show live streams, eagerly waiting for Hugo's glamorous entrance into the ring, and became, unabashedly, his biggest fan.
(Hugo also has an infatuation with chestnut mares, which, for me, further solidifies that he's the real life Black Beauty, who loved and protected the lovely Ginger in the movie.)
Tripple X III and Tiffany Foster were a dream team. Photo by Erin Gilmore.
A true gentleman, Hugo was a reliable partner for his riders and did his job well, contributing to team gold medals at the Olympic and Pan American Games. Representing both Great Britain and Canada, he captured our hearts with his enchanting brown eyes, gleaming coat, powerful jump, and personality to match.
At 17, he’s logged countless miles on the international stage. Hugo is a fan-favorite around the world thanks to his effortless jump, but also his endearing personality. He is a gentle giant at heart, sweet yet playful — have you seen his notorious sass on the jog strip?
Cheers to your well-deserved retirement, Tripple X III — you took my breath away every time you galloped into the ring, and I'll never forget it.
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It is with some sadness but mainly pride that we have decided to announce Tripple X’s retirement from the sport. He had what most would consider a full career with his previous rider and breeder Ben Maher and then went on to have another full career with me. A team gold medal for Great Britain at the London Olympics, a team gold medal for Canada at the Toronto Pan American Games and countless clear rounds in Nations Cups and Grand Prixs. After a few attempts to bring him back from minor injuries, his owners, Andy and Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms, and I have decided that we think it is time for him to retire from international competition. He is happy and sound now and we want him to stay that way so he can enjoy his time out hacking and in the paddock. I can’t really put into words what this horse means to me. All I can say is that for me, he will always be one of the greatest and I will cherish the moments that I had with him. I will forever be grateful to Andy and Carlene for trusting me with him, but especially Andy, for letting me borrow him for much longer than we had originally planned! I think we are doing the right thing but it sure is hard to imagine never going in the ring again with him. I love him so much and I always will ❤️ He will not be available for any breeding at this time but if it becomes a possibility we will make a public announcement on the Artisan Farms Instagram and Facebook page. We are planning to have a ceremony at the CSIO in Hickstead on Sunday July 28 surrounded by his amazing British fans that have followed him for so many years. Please join us if you can! 🇨🇦🇬🇧🇨🇦🇬🇧🇨🇦 @hicksteadevents @benmaherofficial @carolineholmberg1 @daley12347870 @artisanfarms
Feature photo by Erin Gilmore.