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Horse rescue hoping people will jump at the chance to own a piece of show jumping history

Owner of Apollo, Barrie Jones

A Powys equine rescue and rehabilitation centre is offering horse lovers the chance to buy several pieces of equestrian history connected to show jumping legends with both two and four feet.

Llanfechain-based Totem Horses, a charitable rescue and re-homing centre, near the Shropshire border, is holding an online auction for a variety of goods including a saddle which was once worn by legendary horse Apollo.

Apollo’s successes were exceptional and when ridden by Nick Skelton CBE, he won the Calgary Speed Derby by five seconds.

The horse enjoyed many other major triumphs including individual bronze at the World Championships in Aachen in 1986, individual European bronze at St Gallen in 1987, numerous Nations Cup team wins and an appearance at the Seoul Olympics. He also had two Hickstead Derby and two Aachen grand prix victories.

The online one day auction, which will take place on 1 February 2020  includes a leather saddle worn by Apollo when he was ridden by Geoff Glazzard at The Horse of The Year Show, a painting by artist Steve Williams which was commissioned and shows Apollo ridden by Nick Skelton and a couple of prizes which Apollo won over the years including a decanter which bears the name Raffles Apollo. There is also a painting by the same artist of another well-known horse called Wayward Johan.

The memorabilia was donated by Barrie Jones, from Rhos on Sea in Wales who owned a number of top horses along with his late wife Lynda in the 1980s and 90s and wanted to donate it somewhere it could help raise money for equines in need.

Totem Horses Founder, Jo Barr, said: “We were overwhelmed when Barrie got in touch to offer us these items as we are a small organisation and rehabilitation is costly, so every penny really does count.

“As someone who grew up in the 80s I remember loving Apollo and sitting glued to the television, following him over every jump when Nick rode him, so to have and be able to hold the saddle he wore at a competition is a wonderful thing.

“I hope someone out there will share the memories and will be prepared to make a generous bid to own the saddle themselves.”

All of the items can be viewed online and winning items can be collected from Powys or Oswestry Shropshire or posted or sent by courier to the winning bidders at their cost.

Jo added: “The picture of Nick and Apollo which was specially commission is also a lovely thing. It would be wonderful to think that Nick might even want to buy that himself.”

The online sealed bid auction will take place on: www.totemhorse.org.uk  – with bidders asked to message via the website between 8am and 10am on 1 February 2020 with their  highest and final offer for each item. All the proceeds will go towards rehabilitation work, which has recently included taking in 10 unhandled colts destined for slaughter which needed to be castrated and handled prior to going to new homes.

For details of the auction items and to bid please visit: www.totemhorse.org.uk.