Come backs are a tough thing. There have been a lot of top athletes that have attempted come backs after injury or retirement. Try to name the ones that made it. I am not coming up with much of a list.
Mickey and Lauren have always been a great story. Mickey certainly was never bred to jump or compete at the USEF level. My daughter has learned to win and lose on Mickey. Each win greater for the twenty times in between when they did not place,
This morning Mickey was jumping well. They looked good. Then we went back to the stalls and just waited for Finals to start. And we waited some more. The anxiety increased for Lauren and the hours wore on. By the time she got back on Mick and headed to the warm up ring to get him ready for the Final, Mick was not jumping. He was refusing jumps in the warm up ring-never a good sign. Dev dropped the height of the jump and he still wasn’t jumping. It did not go well. When Lauren got to the Finals ring, she had tears in her eyes. If Mickey is not jumping well in warm up, chances are high he will not jump well (or at all) in his round.
It was rough from the start. It did not smooth out. By jump number eight, he stopped. Lauren neatly slid off to the ground without messing up her white breeches and walked out of the arena. Zone Finals for Irish Midnight and Lauren were done. It was a disappointing end to what could have been a great come back story.
Mickey will now go into semi-retirement. He just is not consistent and safe at the height they need to jump. He has served my daughter well. I have no complaints.
We are enormously lucky to have two fine young horses here at the farm that can all be great horses for Lauren. We have so much to look forward to with these terrific horses. Mickey has been Lauren’s go to guy for so long, it will take a while to get used to seeing her on new mounts. But I will not miss seeing her on the ground after Mickey has decided not to jump a jump.
Like most come backs, this one was not entirely successful (they did win some rounds at the show a couple weeks ago and did well yesterday). I am grateful for the many wonderful times Mick and Lauren have had. He will forever be part of our family. I suspect he will help some other young riders start out over fences. I will always be grateful for all he did for my girl.