A horse has died as the result of an injury sustained during the cross-country phase at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials today (6 September).

Sara Squire’s Orto hit the first element of Fence 19 — where Sara looked like she was going to take the long route — and was immediately pulled up.

After being examined by a vet it emerged that the 13-year-old had done serious damage to his right stifle.

“Following transportation to our veterinary hospital facility where a detailed examination including radiography was conducted by our expert team of veterinary surgeons, the decision was made to euthanize him on welfare grounds,” said a spokesman from Burghley.

“We would like to extend our sincere sympathy to Sara, the owners Mr & Mrs Budd, and all associated with Orto ­—­­ such a talented horse.”

Sara had ridden the horse since BE100 level and this was the combination’s first four-star. Sara and Orto were in 29th place after dressage and had been jumping clear until this point.