Heartbreak as ‘unique’ elite event horse put down

A “kind” advanced event horse who was “coming into his own” has been put down following a field accident.

Italian eventer Vittoria Panizzon paid tribute to her 14-year-old Nations Cup ride Argentinus, who joined her stable at the end of the 2015 season.

Vittoria told H&H the 16.1hh gelding, owned by the Weymss family, had “found his niche” over the last few years.

“He was a kind horse but had a very sensitive character. He was very introverted and could get easily confused and worried. When he came to me he had a history of not leaving the start box and napping in cross-country,” she said.

“He never used to hack on his own but we took things very slowly and spent a long time hacking with friends. I did a lot at British Eventing novice level for a long time and he and he gained confidence over the years.”

Vittoria said Argentinus, known as Yogi, had always been a good jumper, winning his first advanced at Aston Le Walls on 21 July.

“We had some good intermediate results last year and I took him up to advanced this year, which I didn’t expect when he first came to me,” she said.

“We were then on the Italian Nations Cup team at Waregem in September. We had some challenges but I was thrilled with his performance; he was becoming a very valuable team member.”

Yogi’s owner Lottie Wemyss also paid tribute to her “wonderful boy”.

“We are so devastated you are gone so suddenly. You have given us so much over these last 11 years,” she said. “We are so proud of all you achieved… but also just the unique character you were; there is a reason you were many people’s favourite.”

Vittoria said Yogi had some “endearing quirks” which made the gelding “unique” and an exceptional hunter.

“He was a particular character, and an exceptional gate jumper – which meant if he didn’t like his friends in the field he would jump out and come home from the furthest part of the farm. He was also very good at opening his stable door and sometimes would take himself for a little graze on the lawn. It was all done in a cute way, he was never troublesome,” she said.

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“I had some incredible times hunting. One occasion with the South Shropshire we jumped eight gates which you had to jump neatly and keenly, and I was on the right horse for the job. I absolutely loved the partnership required and gained by that experience.”

Vittoria said Yogi will be terribly missed.

“It’s such a shame when you feel like you were finally unlocking the key. We made a lot of progress through partnership and it showed the importance of that with horses. I am very glad his owners were able to follow him at events this year and see him at his best.”

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