Rider pays tribute to event horse put down at Pau five-star

Swiss rider Felix Vogg’s Pau CCI5* ride Archie Rocks has been put down following a fall on the cross-country yesterday (26 October) at the French event.

The organisers released a statement, saying: “It is with great sadness that we announce that Archie Rocks, ridden by Switzerland’s Felix Vogg and owned by Phoenix Eventing S.à.r.l, was put down on Saturday 26 October, following a fall on the cross-country, while competing at CCI5*-L of les 5 étoiles de Pau, France. The fall occurred at fence 28B.

“The decision to put down the horse was taken by the owner, in consultation with the show veterinarians.

“Felix Vogg, rider and co-owner of Archie Rocks said: ‘Archie Rocks suffered an irreparable shoulder fracture, considered to be severe by the veterinarians on the site. Despite all efforts to save him, we have had to take the difficult decision to put him to sleep.

‘Archie was a very special horse in many respects. Special thoughts go to all his American fans, who have given him their support throughout his career. He was outstanding on the cross-country, a sweet horse who gave his best to his rider.’”

Continued below…


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Archie Rocks, an 11-year-old thoroughbred by Le Monde who had 30 starts on the track in the USA before turning to eventing with Maya Simmons and first competed internationally in 2016. Buck Davidson competed him four times at CCI4* level in 2018, winning a CCI4*-S at Unionville before finishing third in the CCI4*-L at Elkton.

Felix, 29, took on the ride this season and took fourth place at Strzegom’s CCI4*-L in June. They competed on the Swiss team at the recent European Championships in Luhmühlen and finished 35th individually with a clear cross-country round.

They were 10th after dressage on their CCI5* debut at Pau with a mark of 31.6. They were clear across country until tripping in the final water complex before the narrow second element (28B), having successfully jumped in over the first element (28A), near the end of the track.

Felix competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics and both the 2014 and 2018 World Equestrian Games for Switzerland. He finished sixth in the CCI5* at Kentucky this spring, riding Colero.

Check back later for more from Pau, plus full report in next week’s Horse & Hound magazine (dated 31 October).

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