Five-star runner-up dies after laminitis attack: ‘He made so many dreams come true’

  • Allison Springer’s former top event horse Arthur, who was placed at Burghley and finished second in the US’s flagship event at Kentucky, has died “suddenly after an episode of laminitis” aged 21.

    The US rider said: “Arthur was my best friend, and over the past 16 years, he made so many of my dreams come true. He and I travelled the world together, competing at events that I had only dreamed of when I was younger.

    “We had many moments of triumph, and some moments of heartbreak, but in every moment, I was always incredibly proud to be his partner, and his person. Arthur taught me what a true partnership meant and looked like, and a part of my heart will belong to him forever.”

    Allison and Arthur won twice at CIC3* (now CCI4*-S) and the pair started at Kentucky CCI4* (now CCI5*) seven times, with six completions. Their best result was second in 2012. Later that year they were sixth at Burghley, an event they also contested in 2009, when they were eliminated across country for three stops, and 2014, when they finished 21st.

    The big chestnut was renowned for his prowess in the dressage, which led to some disappointments for connections when errors across country or in the showjumping dropped him down the leaderboard after a strong start to competitions. The pair led the dressage at Blenheim 2009, but their challenge disintegrated with 20 jumping penalties across country.

    Nonetheless, Arthur competed at the top level with considerable success for some eight years and was a stalwart of the US eventing scene, as well as making occasional forays overseas.

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    Allison added: “Thank you to my parents and the remarkable members of the Arthur Syndicate for your unwavering support over the years. Arthur was lucky to have a remarkable team behind him every step of the way, from his many grooms and the working students who spent hours caring for him, to his team of vets, farriers and beyond.

    “I will never be able to express my true gratitude for all you did for him to help him feel his best for so long. I would be remiss if I did not thank the many people who cheered us on from near and far. Arthur loved nothing more than a photo op or an adoring fan, and he appreciated each and every one of you.

    “‘Arty’ was a party in every sense of the word, even if at times that party was one he created in his own mind. I will never stop missing him. If it were up to me, Arthur would have lived forever, but I will forever be grateful I was the person in the world he chose to love most.”

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