EVENTER Andrew Hoy says there is more to come from Rutherglen having tagged London 2012 as a learning experience for the nine-year-old.
Hoy and his charge finished 13th overall following the showjumping finale at Greenwich Park, and off the back of the competition, the Aussie revealed his excitement for the future prospects of the partnership.
The Badbury-based rider believes his horse will progress when he takes part in similar events to London 2012, in which the watching crowd play such an integral role.
“I couldn’t ask for any more than I got from Rutherglen, albeit you can improve on that,” said the 53-year-old, a veteran of seven Olympics.
“He’s not the finished article, but he produced a personal best and that’s all you can ask for. It was excellent.
“Rutherglen is very young as far as experience is concerned at that level. You can always improve the showjumping and the dressage can also be improved.
“His cross-country was excellent, I did have some time penalties but I had to let him settle in the first part of the course.
“The time penalties were just due to his anxiety, as the fantastic atmosphere created by the crowd didn’t help him.
“But when he competes at the likes of Badminton and Burghley, they have big atmospheres as well and will improve him.”
Originally from Culcairn in New South Wales, Hoy is one of many foreign riders resident in the UK due to, amongst other things, the facilities and level of competition on offer.
And he praised organisers of the Games setup, believing the rich tradition of equestrian events in the UK played an important role in its success.
“As far as Olympic venues go, Greenwich Park worked extremely well,” he said.
“The great thing about this country is that it’s the hub of the world as far as our sport is concerned, so the people involved were all very experienced.
“Out of all of the venues I’ve been to, the ease of access from the stable area to the training and competition areas was very good.”
However, Hoy did warn that the equestrian legacy left by the Olympics would be weakened by the temporary nature of the Greenwich Park facility, in contrast to when the Games were held in his homeland in 2000.
“There have been some countries that have come out of the Olympics with a wonderful legacy,” said Hoy.
“The Sydney venue you now have to book up to two years in advance, which is wonderful for the sport in Australia.
“That’s something the United Kingdom isn’t going to have, because the venue won’t be used again for equestrian sports.”