Powell's medal 'would have made mother proud'
TONY SMITH AND CAROLINE KING
Former Canterbury eventer Caroline Powell's bronze medal success at the London Olympics would have made her mother proud, says her brother.
The 39-year-old, now based in Kelso, Scotland, lost her mother, Ailsa Turner, to cancer last month.
Her eldest brother, Richard Turner, a practice partner at Canterbury Equine Clinic, said "it was pretty amazing" that the New Zealand eventing team won bronze and his sister's performance would have pleased their mother.
"Mum would've been proud," he said.
Turner has admired his sister's strength over the past few trying months, a quality he believes she inherited from her mother.
But Turner said it would have been an "unusual" feeling for his sister not to have their mother on the sideline cheering her on.
"She would go to every World Equestrian Games and every Olympics that she could," he said.
Instead, Turner's wife, Jenny, and daughter Louise went along to support Powell.
"I think she's appreciating that," he said.
He said his sister was also lucky to have a strong support team in Scotland; including her husband, Richard, and "capable" grooms, which enabled her to return to Christchurch for their mother's funeral.
Turner has been supporting her from afar, vigilantly watching the coverage on TV.
"We sat up until 5.30am on Monday morning and watched the team stuff. It's pretty exciting."
Turner said Lenamore was the oldest horse in the eventing phase but was "really young for his age". "Even at the last event we saw him at, he looks like a 13-year-old horse. He just wants to get on with things."
But it could be the last time Powell and her 19-year-old Lenamore compete together at 4-star level, Turner said.
"I'm pretty sure that's Lenamore's last big event. After [that] he's heading towards the retirement paddocks."
Lenamore is the most successful British eventing-registered horse of all time, having earned more than 2200 British eventing points.
But Powell hasn't decided yet whether to put Lenamore out to pasture. She won the prestigious Burghley Horse Trials on him in 2010.
"He'll tell us when he's had enough," Powell said. "The way he's acting at the moment there might be another [big competition] in him, there might not be.
"We'll get him home, he'll have a holiday for the winter and we'll bring him back up in January and just see. If he's not coping, if he's not doing well, then we won't do much more with him."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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