Training a horse to the elite level of eventing is a feat in itself, but Rohan Luxmoore’s success at the top of the sport is all the more impressive given he’s an owner-rider juggling training with a full-time veterinary career. Rohan very successfully took Bells N Whistles all the way to five-star before the horse’s retirement back in 2018. Rohan’s busy life and commitments meant that while they were competing at the top of the sport, he had not had time to develop young horses that would be knocking on the door of the FEI levels when the time came to retire his eventing star.
Therefore, it was a matter of returning to the lower levels and steadily working his way back up, a process Rohan began in earnest with two youngsters – one a homebred, and the other a just-broken three-year-old from friends Trish and Wes Joyce at Lal’s Haven.
The latter, six-year-old LH Valentino, is now really starting to hit his stride – this season, he and Rohan won the EvA95 6 & 7YO class at Gisborne, were second in the CCN1* at Tonimbuk, and then had another win in the CCN1*at Wandin. Most recently, they won the CCN1* at Ballarat International Horse Trials, and Rohan is now eyeing a two-star start in the near future. Five years on, and FEI competition is back on the radar!
“He went really well at Ballarat,” says Rohan of Valentino. “He did a solid dressage test and show jumped really well, and it was probably his best cross country round so far in that he felt really confident. He’s been really good cross country but being show jumping bred, sometimes he can be a little careful and a little spooky at a ditch or a trakehner… sometimes he’ll give the jumps a bit of air!”
JUMPING FOR JOYCE
LH Valentino is by Wes Joyce’s Grand Prix stallion Oaks Volta and out of a mare Wes jumped to A Grade back in the day, named Kelso Bernie (by Daley K). As Trish Joyce explains, they purchased Oaks Volta as a weanling and Wes educated and campaigned the stallion with great success, until he was unfortunately lost in a tragic paddock accident. “Wes says he has never had a horse like Volta,” notes Trish. “He was like a real person; he had to be around or see you. He was such a warm, cuddly fella that you would not know he was a colt. Jumping was his expertise… Volta contained loads of energy and could go on and on!”