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Three horses have now been confirmed to have been euthanised following incidents at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, which took place from September 14–18 in Oxfordshire, UK.
British-based Kiwi competitor Samantha Lissington suffered a horse fall at 12B, the Spinney Cottages, with Sharon Honiss’s nine-year-old Ricker Ridge Ricochet in the prestigious eight- and nine-year-old CCI4*-S, in which they were one of the earliest pairs out on course. After a hold and some deliberation, during which Samantha was transferred to hospital, organisers opted to remove this B element from the combination. Later on, it was confirmed that the talented young mare, who was making her second start at the four-star level after finishing third in the CCI4*-S at Kilguilkey, had been euthanised.
“It is with great sadness we announce that following immediate veterinary treatment Ricker Ridge Ricochet, ridden by Samantha Lissington passed away after a fall at fence 12 today,” added the statement. “Our thoughts are with all connections at this sad time.”
Fanta Boy, the twelve-year-old top-level partner of Great Britain’s George Goss (née Spence), was also confirmed to have died on Saturday night after successfully completing the CCI4*-L course without jumping penalties.
“With a broken heart I can confirm that very sadly our Fanta Boy passed away late into the night on Saturday. He was an incredible horse and I will cherish the memories I’ve shared with him and his wonderful owners, Nicky [Cooper] and Lucy [Fleming],” said George in a statement on her social media. “Gallop free my very special boy.”
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Equador III, the ride of Great Britain’s Thomas Martin, was also euthanised after a rotational fall in the CCI4*-L.
“This is a hard pill to swallow,” wrote 25-year-old Thomas, who was making his CCI4*-L debut with the gelding, in a statement on Instagram. “Me and Eddie had a rotational fall at Blenheim yesterday and unfortunately Eddie sustained a leg injury. Due to that leg injury we had to make the tough decision this morning to put him to rest.”
He continued his statement with a heartfelt letter to the horse, with whom he’d taken his first steps into the upper levels of eventing:
You have came along way since that £5 purchase 6 years ago, what was quite an uncertain time for you, through to you turning into my horse of a life time. We have been there through many highs and you’ve seen me through plenty of lows yet you never once wavered. I’m so proud of what we achieved. Although we did not make our £5 to 5* we did give it a bloody good go and had all the fun along the way. Your were nothing but heart and you are going to be sorely missed by not only me but by the whole of team Martin and many others that’s you touched along the way. It’s just not going to be the same on the yard with out you. RIP the bestest good boy I could of ever asked for. Love you for ever.”
All of us at Team EN extend our most heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the connections of these remarkable horses, and wish Sam Lissington a speedy recovery.
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