On May 6th in the Del Mar Arena at the Del Mar Fairgrounds a very special event was set to occur. The $5000 Ride and Drive Classic had just ended. 8 riders entertained the audience by navigating the course of large jumps and cones with skilled riding and driving. They tickled our funny bones too with the full-on sprint in tall riding boots between horse and car! Kyle King would be victorious in the class and not too long after we would be sitting on the edge of our seats as 29 horse and rider combinations tackled the $100,000 Grand Prix of Del Mar. But before Ashlee Bond could steal the show on Chela LS, a heartfelt and emotional moment would need to take place.
After two decades of “Wow-ing” crowds with his National and International Grand Prix wins, the Irish Sport Horse stallion, Flexible (owned by Harrie and Molly Chapman and ridden by Rich Fellers) would be celebrated in a retirement ceremony before the Grand Prix of Del Mar. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as the announcer went through a summarized history of the impressive team.
Flexible seemed electrified by the atmosphere. His eyes were bright as he took in all before him. His saddle came off and a ceremonial cooler was placed on his back. The cooler which was made for the event by Mary’s Tack and Feed had all of Flexible’s major career wins embroidered on the side in alternating white and red forming the American Flag. The flag being a homage to the crown jewel of Flexible’s career with Feller’s – being on the 2012 US Olympic Team in London.
At 21 one year’s old, sound, fit and health, Flexible will spend the rest of his days at the Feller’s Family Stable in Oregon.