Tex, a 17hh Australian thoroughbred born in 1989 was one of Stuart Tinney’s top horses for many years and played a significant part in Stuart’s success. He placed at every CCI 1, 2 and 3 Star event he was entered in during his career with Stuart, was fourth at his first CCI 4* at Adelaide and was Stuart’s team reserve horse for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games plus the World Championships in Rome.
He was owned by Sue Walker and Stuart and Karen Tinney until 2002 when he was sold to an Australian based Malaysian rider Husref Malek, and was retired back at Tinney Eventing in 2005. I have had the pleasure many times of seeing Tex and his old mate Jeepster happily enjoying their retirement in the Tinney paddocks. Sue Walker took Tex to her property in Arcadia NSW and cared for him over the past few years, until he was laid to rest on Sunday 27th January.
Stuart has some wonderful memories of Tex but one he would rather forget was the incident at Badminton in May 1999. In that year Badminton experienced one of its wettest springs but, unlike 2012, the show still went on. Stuart did not have the luxury of opting to go to another event like many of the other European based riders so, as the ninety-eighth rider, he set off on the steeplechase which was ‘just like a ploughed field’
In the book An Eventful Life Stuart describes the experience
“Because of the mud Tex nearly fell on landing after the first fence so I then decided to gallop in between the fences and trot in front of each fence. Despite doing that I still managed to have the fastest time of the afternoon with seventeen time penalties”
Later that day, Stuart and Tex made headline news in the UK when they jumped out of the knee deep water in the main water complex, over the picket-fence crowd barriers and into a gap in the large crowd. Fortunately only two people were injured and Stuart himself stayed on board throughout the whole drama (now, that’s stick ability!).
“Poor Tex just did what he had been taught to do, which was to jump in a straight line. He did nothing wrong” says Stuart of the incident, going on to add
‘Tex was probably one of the most awesome horses that came into my riding career, his timing to become an international horse may not have been in his favour, following Jeepster all over the world waiting patiently his turn to represent Australia. He never gave up on anything, had the constitution of an ox and was always so beautifully mannered. Our whole family will miss him dreadfully and so too will his other owner Sue Walker; he has a special place in our hearts and will not be forgotten’
Article courtesy of An eventful Life and Stuart Tinney