TAGS:

US showjumper McLain Ward’s former top horse Sapphire has died following complications from colic.

The 19-year-old mare was retired from the sport in 2012 after a glittering career at the highest level that included winning 2 Olympic team gold medals in Athens 2004 and Hong Kong 2008, and team silver at the 2006 World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Aachen.

A statement from the rider on his Facebook page read: “With a very heavy heart I have to share that Sara [Sapphire] has passed away this morning.

“The entire Castle Hill family and every person she has touched has lost a great friend. Thank you Sara not just for all the dreams you made come true but for simply being who you were. You always will be my champion in every way. God speed good friend.”