Tributes are still pouring in for the world’s top jumping horse, Eric Lamaze’s Hickstead.
Hickstead died in the ring at Verona on Sunday (6 November).
The Canadian reigning Olympic champion had just completed his round at the grand prix when the 15-year-old bay stallion’s back legs went from under him and he collapsed and died within minutes.
It is thought he suffered a cardiac arrest but the results of a post mortem examination are expected later today.
FEI veterinary director Graeme Cooke said the results would be communicated first to the owner and rider and then to the public.
FEI president Princess Haya described Hickstead as “a horse in a million”.
“My heart goes out to Eric and everyone connected with this wonderful horse. This is a terrible loss, but Hickstead truly will never be forgotten. We were very lucky to have known him,” she said.â€¨
And Nick Skelton, who tried and rejected the young Hickstead, said: “It’s very sad to hear about Hickstead. He was truly a great horse. My thoughts are with Eric.”
As a mark of respect the show was cancelled and tearful riders filed into the ring for a minute’s silence, to pay their respects to this wonder horse.
Hickstead had been due to have the winter off in Florida from December, to prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Hickstead: the amazing record
- Bred by Jan van Schijndel of Maren Kessel, Holland
- A Dutch warmblood, by Hamlet out of Jomara, by Ekstein
- Originally called Opel, but renamed after a previous owner’s favourite jumping venue
- 2011 won $1m grand prix at Spruce Meadows in September
- 2008 individual gold and team Beijing Olympics
- Best horse in the 2010 WEG showjumping final with four clear rounds
- More than $3m in prize money during his career
- Eight years with Eric Lamaze
- 2011 stud fee $5,500 ( £3,432) per dose
- He has sired fewer than 100 progeny worldwide
- A full brother, Hickstead II, born in 2004, jumping at intermediate levelSee H&H’s tribute to Hickstead in pictures