‘A devastating blow’: heartbreak as Piggy March announces death of young stallion

  • Cupid March, the March Stud’s promising home-bred stallion and Burghley young event horse (BYEH) winner has died from colic, aged five.

    Cupid March, known at home as Brash, was by the jumping-bred sire Clarksville and out of five-star event mare Valentina II. Last year Brash won the four-year-old BYEH final with Piggy March in the saddle; he scored 24 out of 30 for his dressage, 37.3 out of 40 for his jumping and 17 out of 20 for his suitability. He had been due to stand at stud this year for the first time.

    “I can’t believe I’m writing this but we very sadly lost our gorgeous Cupid March to colic on Tuesday (7 March) night,” said Piggy.

    “It’s a devastating blow for Thomas and I, all the team here at Maidwell, and his owners Jane March, Susannah Paybody and Susie Wood. We’d all placed so much hope on his shoulders for the future and it’s incredibly hard for all those dreams to be snatched away so quickly.”

    Tom March, Piggy’s husband, told H&H Brash was one that always had “a bit of X factor” and was a “special” character.

    “It’s not something you can particularly put your finger on, but his character was always very self-confident, in a nice way. With the character and the ability together, he was always one people noticed or commented on and people were really starting to take an interest,” he said.

    “There’s certainly not many that we’ve had that had the same aura about them. He was a real proper stallion, and clearly thought he was above everyone.”

    Piggy said Brash was “an absolutely beautiful horse inside and out”.

    “Everyone who was lucky enough to meet him will know his extraordinary ability and character. Being a home-bred, we’d seen him grow up from day one and have so many special memories with him already,” she said.

    “We will treasure them even more than before now, in particular his win at Burghley, but his journey was still only just beginning. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to think of all the amazing days that were still to come for him. I’m sure in time we will be able to look back and appreciate what we had but right now it’s hard to get past what we’ve all lost.”

    Piggy thanked Oakham Vets for all their efforts in trying to save Brash, and Stallion AI for performing an emergency epididymal semen extraction, a semen recovery procedure.

    “When things were starting to look pretty bleak we knew that the extraction was the only option we had to try and save something from the situation. That is all we have left,” said Tom.

    “We haven’t really decided what the plan is yet with the frozen semen, but we will definitely offer something, and will be in touch with everyone.”

    Tom said the loss was “hard to take”.

    “When you place your hopes with them and that’s all snatched away, everything happens so fast and it’s so unexpected. It’s hard to process when it’s all ripped from beneath your feet in a blink of an eye,” he said.

    “He was only young, but when you think about how much work and stuff goes into them. To get one like him, we know sadly how difficult that is. To have all that gone in a flash takes a bit of getting over. Sadly horses are good at breaking your heart.”

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