A horse has died after being taken ill in the endurance world championships in Aachen on Monday. Dubai, an 11-year-old chestnut gelding, was competing for Denmark with owner/rider Ingelise Kristoffersen.

The Anglo Arab suffered a severe episode of myopathy (tying up) a few kilometres after the start. He was treated at the scene by a vet and then transported to provisional treatment facilities at the Soers. He was later taken to a horse clinic in Kerken, Germany, and his condition was confirmed as “stable” at noon on Tuesday.

However, despite intensive care and therapy, the gelding was euthanased earlier today (Wednesday) after he began to lose kidney function.

Dubai and Kristoffersen, who is married to a vet, were an experienced combination at international level. The WEG organising committee deny that the horse’s condition was linked to Monday’s 160km competition.
Four years ago the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) launched an enquiry after two horses died in the 160km endurance competition at the 2002 Jerez WEG.

At a press conference on Monday, FEI head of endurance Ian Williams told journalists that the sport was “totally different” to what it was four years ago.

He said: “The sport of endurance has the greatest degree of veterinary control — vets are proactive, not reactive.”

For more on this story, see next week’s Horse & Hound (31 August).