Blyth Tait Calls Time on Second Eventing Career
Former Olympic and world champion New Zealander Blyth Tait has retired from eventing for a second time, aged 58, Britain’s Horse & Hound magazine reports.
Tait had had his eye on a fifth Olympic Games in Tokyo but announced he was calling time on his stellar career, at the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show in New Zealand, where he has been competing in showjumping classes, on 11 March.
“The likelihood of me competing again overseas is unlikely,” Blyth said.
“I’m very happy to hand over the reins to the younger ones coming through and I support them fully. There is a bright future and still some serious young talent out there.”
Blyth’s major achievements include team and individual gold at the 1990 World Equestrian Games on Messiah, and individual gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics on the then-eight-year-old Ready Teddy, with whom he also won a second individual world title, and was on the gold medal-winning team, two years later. He was on the bronze medal-winning team in Atlanta, where there were two separate eventing competitions, on Chesterfield.
He was on the silver medal-winning team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics on Messiah, also taking individual bronze. He won Burghley Horse Trials in 1998 on Chesterfield, and in 2001 on Ready Teddy.
“I’m not really one to reflect much on what’s been, I like to keep moving forward,” Blyth said.
Blyth, one of only four New Zealanders to have won at least four Olympic medals, retired after the 2004 Games, serving as a coach and team manager for the New Zealand eventing team at the 2006 World Championships and 2008 Olympics, but returned to the sport in 2011.
He said he remembers a number of highlights, such as winning his two world championships, but added: “The Olympic gold medal – that’s the pinnacle. Representing New Zealand on a bigger scale would have to be my biggest achievement.
Original article by Eleanor Jones, Horse & Hound, March 12, 2020.