May 20, 2020

Dobbin (1994-2020)

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
Corinne Ashton and Dobbin. USEA Photo.

The USEA is sad to share the news that Dobbin (Lyphelius x Deal Debbie Deal), Corinne Ashton’s chestnut Thoroughbred gelding who was the 2008 USEA Horse of the Year and the 12th ranked horse on the USEA Historical High Point Horse list with 970 points, passed away over the weekend at the age of 26.

Over the course of their career together which spanned more than a decade, Ashton and Dobbin competed in 26 FEI events from the one-star to the four-star level, placing in the top five 10 times. Together they completed over 90 USEA recognized events, rarely placing outside the top 10.

Ashton purchased Dobbin as an unbroken 3-year-old out of a field in Massachusetts. “I found Dobbin in the field he was born in – an old racehorse guy had bred him,” she shared. “He should have kept him, he would have been a brilliant racehorse too. He was born brilliant.”

They first competed at the Preliminary level in 1999 and completed their first long format one-star at Bromont in the spring of 2000, placing second. They moved up to Intermediate that summer and were fifth in the long format one-star at Morven Park in the fall.

At the end of the 2001 season, Ashton and Dobbin were third at the Radnor Hunt long format two-star and stepped up to the Advanced level the following spring at Plantation Field. They were second in the Advanced Championships at Menfelt Horse Trials in 2002 before taking their first crack at the Fair Hill International three-star, where they finished in 16th.

Ashton and Dobbin at Foxhall in 2007. Photo courtesy of Corinne Ashton.

In 2003, they were sixth in the long format three-star at Foxhall, and seventh in their return to Foxhall the year after. They made their first trip to the USEA American Eventing Championships in the fall of 2004, placing third. Next spring, they competed in their first four-star (now five-star) at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, finishing in 16th place.

In 2007, Ashton and Dobbin returned to the USEA American Eventing Championships for the third time, bringing home the win this time. That fall, they were ninth in the three-star at Fair Hill International. In 2008, they made their second trip to the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event where they finished in 26th place. In the fall, they won the CIC3* at Wit’s End Horse Trials and were second in the CCI3* at Fair Hill International. In the summer of 2009, Ashton and Dobbin placed second in the CCI3* at Bromont.

Aboard Dobbin, Ashton was the first two-time winner of the USEA Amateur of the Year title, first in 2004 and then again in 2007. At the age of 19, following his retirement from eventing in 2010, Dobbin made his debut at the Grand Prix level of pure dressage.

“Not only could he point his toes, he could fly and leave all the jumps up!” Ashton said. “Some amazing freak of nature! It was somewhat ‘cheating’ riding him! We named him Dobbin, a traditional name for a plodding old farm horse in my homeland Britain - perhaps the only thing he didn’t live up to!”

“He had a few requests. Not to be touched, so he was never groomed, and having some flesh between his teeth! Small ponies and miniature donkeys were safest! But his needs were always seen to, what he gave in return was something dreams are made of!”

Dobbin enjoying his retirement. Photo courtesy of Corinne Ashton.

The USEA sends its condolences to Ashton and all of Dobbin’s connections.

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