A four-star horse whose competitive career took him across the world has been put down at the age of 15.
Easy Tiger IV, who started his eventing career in New Zealand, was put down on June 13 after sustaining a leg injury on the cross-country at Houghton Hall CCI2* (28-31 May).
The 16h2 bay gelding was taken up to CCI4* by Kiwi eventer Kate Wood, who partnered him at Adelaide in 2011 and finished 27th at Luhmuhlen with him last year (pictured, credit: Jon Stroud Media).
Known as Tiger, he notched up an impressive nine top 10 finishes at international events, including a sixth place in the CIC2* at Ballendenisk with Zara Phillips in 2013.
As well as Kate and Zara, Tiger was also competed by Clarke Johnstone, Juliet Wood and Tim Cheffings.
Most recently he was piloted by Pixie Thomas, who co-owned him with her mother Corrine.
Pixie, who has competed up to three-star level, took over Tiger’s reins just before Barbury last year.
Pixie had sat on him just seven times before heading to the CIC2* at the Wiltshire event, where they jumped clear across country.
Tim then took on the ride while Pixie was pregnant with her son, Alexander, and rode Tiger at his first couple of events this season.
Houghton was Pixie and Tiger’s first international this season and it was on landing after the third fence from home that Pixie pulled him up as he suddenly went very lame.
“He flew all the way round,” Pixie told H&H.
“He was cruising up until that point.”
She added there was no warning about what was about to happen.
Musketeer Event Management organised transport to vets in Newmarket where an x-ray showed he had broken his leg.
Despite efforts from Rossdales vets, two weeks later the fracture worsened and Tiger was put down.
The talented jumper, who had 187 British Eventing points, was described by Pixie as a “complete professional” in his work, but was not friendly in the stable.
She remembered how he once ripped a vet’s shirt with his teeth when he was having his vaccinations and had to wear a muzzle in the stable.
“He was just a world-class jumper,” she said.
“He didn’t want cuddles, he just wanted to get on with his job.”
Pixie added that he “never reached his limits” and received more than 200 comments on Facebook when she broke the news that he had been put down.