No more for Nadal

The European plan hasn't come off for Fraser King and his top horse Nadal, and he has called time on the New Zealand thoroughbred's eventing career.

Fraser King competing at the 2015 Luhmuhlen four-star competition (Image: Jane Thompson)
Fraser King competing at the 2015 Luhmuhlen four-star competition (Image: Jane Thompson)

Fraser King has announced that he has retired Nadal from international competitions.

Fraser took Nadal to the Netherlands back in May 2015 in an endeavour to make it into the Dutch Olympic eventing team. He travels on a Dutch passport, through his maternal grandparents, and was eligible to ride in the orange colours.

Nadal went to Europe with a good track record but things haven’t gone according to plan. The first event Fraser entered him in was the four-star at Luhmuhlen, but Nadal hadn’t travelled well, wasn’t himself and waseliminated in the cross-country. Unfortunately, things haven’t improved since then.

Nadal about to trot up at Luhmuhlen 2015 (Image: Jane Thompson)
Nadal about to trot up at Luhmuhlen 2015 (Image: Jane Thompson)

Fraser has written that “while he is still sound, fit and healthy, it is fair to say that he has not adjusted to northern hemisphere competition life as a sporthorse. To put it simply, in NZ he was extremely genuine and tried everything to do his job; whereas since he has been here in Europe he has tried to find a way out in upper-level competitions. We’ve given him a year over here to settle and tried everything with the help of a lot of cool people to turn things around for him; however, I’ve ultimately been unsuccessful in finding a way to bring out the best of him in competitions here in Europe.”

Fraser holds his National ODE Trophy aloft while Nadal looks somewhat bemused. (Image: Jane Thompson)
Fraser holds his National ODE Trophy aloft while Nadal looks somewhat bemused (Image: Jane Thompson)

Nadal was bred at Windsor Park Stud, by Volksraad out of Frosting who was by Icecapade. He had a successful career as a racehorse with the name Pretorious, winning just over $300,000 under the training of Rachel Murray. As an eventer, he also had a successful run, being runner-up in the Honda CCI3* at Puhinui in 2014, as well as winning the CIC3* in Christchurch the same year, taking the National One-Day Event title.

Nadal in the cross country at the National ODE champs at Christchurch (Image: Jane Thompson)
Nadal in the cross-country at the National ODE champs at Christchurch (Image: Jane Thompson)

Fraser is now finding Nadal a home in Europe, hoping he will go to a low level competition home as the horse still likes competing. Fraser himself is heading back to New Zealand at the end of the European season. Until then, he will continue to compete on his young horse, Quantum Warrior, a New Zealand thoroughbred by Orientate.

Once back in New Zealand, Fraser will carry on with his legal career, and will join his sister in the Taranaki family firm set up by their father, Dennis King, who died earlier this year. Fraser specialises in litigation and disputes, and has been doing some work from the Netherlands.

We look forward to seeing him back on the New Zealand eventing scene and wish Nadal all the best for a long retirement.