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Piggy French’s former successful two-star ride Chicago II put down

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Chicago II, one of the most consistent intermediate horses ever when he competed under Piggy French, has been put down.

The 16-year-old suffered a very unusual injury to the superficial flexor tendon in a freak accident while contesting the open novice at Tweseldown (1) last month with Nicholas Lucey. A scan revealed massive tearing over a large area, which meant that Chicago would never have stood up to even being retired in the field. His owner Sue Crane therefore made the decision to have him put down last week.

The son of Acord II, who was known as “Robin” or “Dobs” at home, won 16 times at two-star, open intermediate and advanced intermediate between 2005 and 2010, as well as racking up numerous placings.

Chicago’s most significant victories were in the CIC** at Sansaw 2006 and the CCI** at Weston Park the same year, which formed the final two legs of Piggy’s £25,000 Shropshire Slam. This prize was offered by Libert © Self Drive Horse Box Hire to any rider (or owner of a horse) who could consecutively win any international class at Weston Park’s autumn fixture and the now defunct CIC** at Sansaw in June.

Piggy said: “He was always such a lovely horse to have around and gave me some of my best experiences. I had always hoped that when he retired from eventing he would spend the rest of his days here with me to gently hack around on. I know Sue his owner thought the world of him – we all did. Robin will be sadly missed.”

Owner Sue Crane said: “Dobs was such a special horse, amassing 361 [British Eventing] points without ever running advanced. I feel very privileged to have owned him. I bought him unseen but as soon as Pig and I saw him we both fell in love with him. He was such a handsome boy with a cheeky personality, but remained a gentleman at all times. His strength was his consistency in all three phases.

“Piggy produced him so well she made his dressage look stunning, his showjumping textbook and cross-country effortless. His injury was a very unusual one, but its severity left me no choice. He’s simply irreplaceable, but he does leave me with many treasured memories that will last forever.”

Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk