Clifton Promise’s career closes

Clifton Promise is a true champion New Zealand thoroughbred who has triumphed in international eventing arenas. Happy retirement, you wonderful horse.

Promise must have thought he was going to have a jump after a warm up lap! (Image: Libby Law Photography)
Promise must have thought he was heading for the jumps after a warm-up lap! (Image: Libby Law)

Clifton Promise was officially retired after a very moving ceremony just before the prize-giving at Badminton.

Jock rode the horse into the arena and did a spirited lap in front of the packed grandstand. Promise looked ready to go show jumping, or maybe set off across the country, and must have been slightly confused when he was pulled up in front of the Royal Box and unsaddled!

"What's going on?" asks Clifton Promise when Jock started taking his saddle off. (Image: Libby Law Photography)
“What’s going on?” asks Clifton Promise as Jock starts taking his saddle off. (Image: Libby Law)

Helped by owner Frances Stead and long-time groom Anke Hoyer, Jock took the saddle off and it was replaced by a stunning show cover, with Promise’s name on it.

Frances Stead and Ankey Hoyer with the champion, Clifton Promise. (Image Libby Law Photography)
Owner Frances Stead and groom Anke Hoyer with their champion, and the special cover with his name all over it (Image Libby Law)

Anke then led Promise out of the arena, and Jock and Frances followed, carrying his saddle.

Jonathan Paget and Frances Stead (Owner) and Anky Hoyer (groom) retire their superstar Clifton Promise at the special place where they won the Title in 2013: 2016 GBR-Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (Credit: Libby Law Photography)
Jock, Frances, Anke and their superstar Clifton Promise in front of a packed grandstand  (Credit: Libby Law)

Frances, on her Clifton Eventers Facebook page, says this about the amazing relationship between Promise and Jock: “People often say to me how lucky Jock is to have the ride on Clifton Promise and I always answer the same way: Promise is just as lucky to have Jock as Jock is to have Promise. They have both worked incredibly hard to form a great partnership and bring out the best of each other. After all, they are both tall, dark and extremely handsome. They both have an amazing work ethic and are perfect gentlemen at all times. They really were made for each other.”

Jock and Frances share a special moment. They still have Clifton Signature in action, with a chance of a start at the Olympics (subject to selectors of course!). Image: Libby Law Photography
Jock and Frances share a special moment. They still have Clifton Signature in action, with a chance of a start at the Olympics (subject to selectors of course!) (Image: Libby Law)

Jock will certainly never regret taking the opportunity to ride the horse. “Promise is the ultimate gentlemen. He has changed my life,” he was quoted as saying on the Facebook page. “He will retire with me and I will take great pleasure in watching him in the paddock and riding him at home. It is a mark of a successful career to Frances, the team and me to be able to retire him happy and healthy.”

Yes, Clifton Promise has been an amazing competitor over the years and thoroughly deserves a long and happy retirement, where he will be treated like the champion he is.

You can read more about this wonderful horse in our stories on this link, and view his career in pictures on this link.