September 19, 2012
“You’re going to love New Jersey.” That’s likely to be the farewell message that grooms and stable staff will whisper into the ear of Olympic gold medal winning showjumper?Murka’s Vindicat W. The ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood ridden by Team GB’s Peter Charles in the 2012 Olympic showjumping will soon drop the “Murka” sponsor name…and learn how to speak Jersey. Charles announced on his Facebook page today that “Vinnie” has been sold to American rider and New Jersey native Jessica Springsteen. Charles had this to say about the sale of his Olympic horse: “Vinnie is one of the best horses I have ever ridden, so the decision to move him on has not come lightly. “He produced an outstanding performance to secure Team Gold for Britain for the first time in 60 years, and I will never forget how that felt and how unbelievably proud he made me and my team feel. “In order to invest in a new string of young horses in preparation for Rio, we have had to make the decision to allow him to move to another rider. He will now be ridden by his new owner Jessica Springsteen for the USA. I wish Jessica the best of luck with him and I am sure he will make her proud, too.” With a name like Vinnie, the horse is sure to fit in in New Jersey. Or will this case be the opposite? Is the purchase of this horse a signal that Springsteen plans to ride and compete in Europe? She made a splash last summer when competing with a group of American riders at the Royal Windsor Horse Show outside London. Show jumping is a global sport, and since London we have seen Olympic horses moving around the world like chess pieces. The ultimate next move is a shift toward Rio for 2016. If it looks like a game of musical saddles, perhaps it is: Vindicat is a Dutch horse with a Russian sponsor ridden by an Irishman who competes for Great Britain. He knows his way around the world and now he’ll learn the exits on the Jersey Turnpike and the arenas of Wellington, Florida. Welcome to America, Vinnie.