Cameron Hanley‘s 13-year-old Antello Z has been put down after suffering a serious injury in today’s (1 January) 1.45m two-phase class at Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show.

“With unbelievable sadness I let you know that my partner Antello Z had to be put down today due to an injury sustained in the ring,” Cameron wrote on Facebook.

“He was such a fighter and he never quit, I had some of my best days in the ring with him, he brought me and those of us who were lucky enough to work with him so much happiness.

“He will always be in my heart, I loved him so much. R.I.P. my friend.”

He crashed through an oxer during the jump-off, falling on to his knees on landing and pitching Cameron over his head. Cameron was uninjured in the fall.

Antello Z then cantered around the arena with blood visible on his near foreleg before exiting the arena into the tunnel, where screens were erected and the horse ambulance summoned. The horse was taken to Leahurst equine hospital for further assessment.

Show organiser Nina Barbour said: “We offer our heartfelt and sincere condolences to Cameron, his support team, the Hanley family and all connections of a truly wonderful horse.”

When H&H spoke to John Whitaker following the incident, he said: “It puts a dull shadow over everything. It’s a real shame but it can happen. It’s a really sad day for the horse and Cameron”.

Together with Cameron, Antello Z was part of the Irish team at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in France and helped Ireland to third place in the Nations Cup World final at Barcelona in 2013.

“I am very saddened to hear of the loss of Antello Z. With Cameron, this combination formed a formidable partnership and contributed greatly to Ireland’s success at the very highest level. Thankfully Cameron was uninjured in the fall,” said Irish team manager Robert Splaine.

Horse Sport Ireland’s Damian McDonald added: “Antello Z was a great horse and he and Cameron made a massive contribution to the Irish team in recent years.

“In our sport there is a very strong bond between horse and rider, as the rider is generally the trainer of the horse as well as the jockey. It is very sad for Cameron and his team who worked so closely with the horse.”