More BAD news for Equestrian Sport – RunHennyRun


“HJ Hampton Center of Partnership Dispute

In a dispute surrounding the partnership interests of HJ Hampton, on November 2nd Linda Martin took HJ Hampton from Peter Atkins’ barn without his permission or knowledge.

Atkins was extremely concerned for the horse’s well being. On November 17th, Atkins obtained a court order that required Ms. Martin to surrender the horse to Atkins and further restrains Ms. Martin from selling, transferring, or otherwise taking any action affecting Atkins’ rights to HJ Hampton.

A hearing is scheduled for November 29, 2010 to determine whether the order will be extended pending a trial on the merits of the dispute. HJ Hampton is a nine year-old Argentine-bred Selle Francais gelding. Atkins has been his exclusive rider, trainer, and caregiver since 2007. Atkins and HJ Hampton represented Australia in the 2010 World Equestrian Games, where they finished 24th.”

So another fantastic partnership between horse and man is about to end thanks to the almighty dollar. It is a disgrace, we have an amazing sport that is built upon the ultimate level of trust and partnership between the athlete (the horse) and their jockey (us Eventers). You cannot make a horse do eventing, they must enjoy it, love XC and overall the level of trust between horse and man must be extremely high.

Unfortunately it is a reality that the average rider or even elite rider can only afford to own a few of their own horses. The riders then rely on building partnerships with “Owners” who support the riders by helping to pay the bills or buy that magical horse.

However since WEG we have also seen the dark side of this relationship between Rider and Owner. First off the rank was Totilas who was sold from under his partner Edward Gal, even whilst he was competing to take out the World Championships of Dressage.

Next came Michael Jung’s horse Sam, who was taken from Michael’s farm without his permission and has since been returned following legal action. Regardless of what happens this has gotten ugly and is likely to continue for some time yet.

And again news has emerged late this week, that internet sensation and youtube superstar HJ Hampton – more commonly known as “Henny” or “RunHennyRun” was taken from Peter Atkins’ farm without his permission.

It is understood the owner is trying to find a buyer. There is a lot to this story that I don’t know but the press release says a lot, even by what it doesn’t say.

How can we as a sport stop this happening? I don’t know, but I do know that this is CRAP, or even more strongly BULLSHIT. The behavior of the owners in these circumstances leaves a lot to be desired.

Check out Henny’s BIO on his facebook page, he was in no fit state to do much of anything only 2 short years ago. Since then Peter has put in a lot of hard work and following his catch rider at WEG and subsequent success suddenly he has a huge figure on his price tag. This is very disappointing in so many ways. I was truly looking forward to seeing Henny at Red Hills early next year and very hopeful to see both Peter and Henny in the Green and Gold again in London.

Now it seems both may not happen. Why?  Dollars. What a pity.  Just imagine how this little boy is feeling right now.

Owen and Henny at WEG 2010

This entry was posted in 2010 WEG, Eventing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , by ESJ_Photo. Bookmark the permalink.

About ESJ_Photo

John Lechner also known as ESJ or JohnVacy is a photographer and writer. He is based in the Hunter Valley of NSW in Australia. John has a passion for Eventing photography and writing. John is an FEI Official (Technical Delegate) in addition to the work he does as a writer and photographer in the sport. You can see John's work on Eventing Nation and An Eventful Life where he is both a contributor as a photographer and writer. To find out more about ESJ and where he will be next be shooting more eventing photography then go to About ESJ. John is available to provide specific photographs at Events for riders and sponsors as well as providing images for publication.

22 thoughts on “More BAD news for Equestrian Sport – RunHennyRun

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  3. This is complete & utter bullshit., Peter made Henny what he is by being an extraordinarily partner & rider. Shame on you Linda Martin

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  5. Why doesn’t the manager/owner of the barn require paperwork when any horse is removed before the horse can be released out of the grounds. Doesn’t this make sense? It can prove that the horse is in good condition, going to its rightful owner/place and has evidence if someone is trying to deceive someone else. They do this with cars, property and even in warehouse. This can be prevented in the first place if people are educated on the business of property management of barns.

  6. The horse’s owner is the horse’s owner. To stop it from happening? Trainers/riders need to own their horses. Not feasible for the cost of the horses at that level? There you go. Not pretty but it’s true. It does sound like better legal contracts over what rights the trainer/caregiver has and what rights the owner has are in order though.

  7. First of all there was no staff or anyone at the barn at the time and Peter was gone teaching a clinic. Peter was asked to meet with the owner and he refused and he also stated he was taking Henny down to Florida. The owner said no and Peter said yes. The owner only wanted Peter to sign a free-lease that would allow Peter to potentially take the horse to the Olympics. If not, the owner was content with him returning to where to was originally bought to go. The owner did not want it to go this far, but she asked simple things of Peter and he would not comply. She just wanted to recognized as the owner and for Peter to state where he is from: “Hidden Brooke Farm”. It came down to Peter not including the owner in anything. It is understandable for the owner to be upset with that. The owner would have loved to know about all the shows, events, and clinics he was in, but she was not informed of all of the them.

    • Jessica, you are incorrect regarding some facts. First of all, Linda Martin was at Rolex and WEG. There was no secrecy whatsoever regarding when and where Peter and Henry would be competing. Second, Peter specifically listed “Hidden Brook Farm” as co-owner of Henry in a recent newspaper interview. She has consistently refused to talk to Peter since WEG and has not responded to his offer to buy her out. She wants to sell Henry for as much as she can which, in and of itself, is no crime or even strange. Her methods, however, show her to be irrational, thoughtless and generally devoid of integrity.

  8. Wonder if the USET Foundation could buy him, at a price to be agreed upon after an independent appraisal. That might work. I pray that things work out for Henny and Peter to stay together.

  9. It’s definitely some crap the owner is doing this, especially since they took it from the property. Hopefully there are provisions in the contract that prevent the owner from selling without the riders consent. If there is not such a provision, then that is exactly what needs to change about these contracts. That or the riders need to buy majority share of the horse. It sucks, but for some people it will only be business and you have to beat them at their own game.

  10. Thanks Jessica for writing about Linda’s side of the argument. I met her while volunteering at WEG and she seemed like she was most interested in Henny’s welfare but also in being able to visit her own horse. She told me then that the bio of Henny stating that he was “burned out” by being a hunter was not true but figured that it was used to make a good storyline. I hope that everything works out well for all parties involved.It’s too bad that the legal system has to be brought into it.

      • Hi Debbie. I once managed Linda’s farm for her, and she cares very little about the welfare of any horse on her property. She cares only about herself her ego, and her wallet. I met Henry a few short months after coming to Linda’s, and he was indeed a burnt out hunter. Linda lures people in with her seemingly pleasant personality, and then uses them for all they’re worth before burning her bridges. It is my understanding that Peter offered her a more than fair price for a GELDING of Henry’s quality.

  11. This is the downside of being a top, professional rider. Yes, you have access to great horses and the opportunity to rise to the top, but must weigh that with the ability of the owner to determine the fate of the horse. As a professional, the rider needs to take that in stride as part of the business. If he/she can’t deal, then he should not be a professional rider.

    • Even when the Owner hands the horse over and says they can’t pay any expenses but if you work with the horse, they will split it’s ultimate value with you? That’s a bit hard to “take in stride” after 4 years and a lot of time and expense.

  12. I hope Owen doesn’t loose his buddy. What a shame for all, esp. Henny , Hoping Henry will join the family he loves and has been with for the last three years. He is a living, breathing animal and has feelings. Hen, stay strong. We love you and are hoping for the best for you.

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  14. What utter crap. It’s always money money money. Poor Henny – I hope whatever ends up happening he can stay with Peter.

    Maybe someone could buy him from Martin and then sell him to Peter? LOL

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