Tales from Blue Chip Champs: novice champion bounces back from terrifying field accident

Emma-Jo Slater’s newly-crowned Voltaire Design novice champion Kimba Kasino is lucky to be alive, let alone competing following an accident in the field.

The six-year-old home-bred owned by Kim Barzilay began his four-year-old career in showjumping uneventfully, but with promise – until after being turned out one day, he attempted to jump the gate out of his field.

“He caught himself on the latch of the gate, ripped his stomach open and was in an awful mess,” says Emma-Jo, who is based in Buckinghamshire as Kim’s long-time established rider.

A vet was called immediately and after some skilful stitching, managed to save the gelding.

Owner/breeder Kim explains: “It was my birthday and we were waiting to go out to dinner, but ended up all dressed up on the yard trying to save a horse standing there with his insides hanging out. And it was touch and go, we almost lost him.

“We were very late for dinner.

“The vet was fantastic as there were hundreds of stitches required and yet he now has only the tiniest of scars – it’s a miracle although recovery was steady and he missed a lot of last year.  Perhaps it has made him careful, although he wasn’t careful when he jumped that gate and I don’t recommend it!”

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Kimba Kasino is a product of Kim’s breeding programme – Billy Twomey’s top five-star ride Kimba Flamenco is another.  Kasino is by Arkoniente – a stallion who traces back to the bloodlines of Arko III and Kannan – and out of the Heartbreaker daughter Jessica Du Warchet, a former top national grade A mare for Lisa Phillips, Ryan Prater, Bryony Ward and Emma-Jo.

“I have two Heartbreaker mares [Kimba Flamenco’s dam is Uttah Van Het Indihof, another former ride for Emma-Jo and the dam of Kimba Flamenco] and they have both produced the goods,” said Kim.

Full report from the Blue Chip Championships at Hartpury will be published in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 18 April

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