Ashley Holzer Retires Pop Art in Toronto in One of “Best Rides Ever”

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Ashley Holzer riding Pop Art in her Olympic mount's last competition at the 90th Royal Horse Show in Toronto. © BenRadvanyi.com

TORONTO, Nov. 9–Ashley Holzer rode her Pop Art in their final competition Thursday night with a victory after a career of almost six years at the highest level of the sport that included all the global stages–Olympics, world championships and World Cup Final.

The performance in the $20,000 Dominion Regalia Royal Invitational Dressage Cup Freestyle at the Royal Horse Show was emotional before what was a home crowd although Ashley now makes her home in New York.

“This is my last show with Poppy,” said Ashley who competed Pop Art at the 2008 Beijng Olympics, the 2009 World Cup Final in Las Vegas and the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky as well as a slew of other top events on both sides of the Atlantic since their first CDI Grand Prix almost six years ago.

“He owes me nothing. He’s going to be 16 next year and he’s happy and fit and feeling good. It’s so great to go out on a high note–so great to have your last ride be one of the best rides you’ve ever had. He was thrilled to be in front of the crowd. It was easy for me to ride. He wanted to be good. I think that’s the best way to say ‘that’s enough!’”

Pop Art is a 15-year-old KWPN gelding (Amsterdam x Jodyprinses x Cabochon) owned by Ashley’s family.

Runner up Jacqueline Brooks also officially retired Gran Gesto, her long-time partner and 2008 Olympic team mate to Ashley and Pop Art.

She rode her London Olympic mount D’Niro in the freestyle.

Results:

1. Ashley Holzer – Bronx, New York – Pop Art – 76.708%
2. Jacqueline Brooks – Mount Albert, Ontario – D’Niro – 72.750%
3. Jaimey Irwin – Stouffville, Ontario – Lindor’s Finest – 70.83%
4. David Marcus – Campbellville, Ontario – Chevri’s Capital – 68.875%